Senate President Pro Tempore Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), the longest-serving Democrat in the upper chamber, is back at work after a health scare Tuesday and is expected to preside over former President TrumpDonald TrumpBlinken holds first calls as Biden’s secretary of State Senators discussing Trump censure resolution Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they ‘forgot who was the true leader’ MORE’s impeachment trial.
Leahy told reporters Wednesday that he experienced muscle spasms on Tuesday and was advised by the Capitol’s attending physician, Brian Monahan, to check in at a hospital out of an “abundance of caution.”
“I had some muscle spasms. And normally I would have said, ‘To hell with it, to heck with it,’ but they didn’t stop. And I talked to Monahan and he checked me over … pretty good. But he said, ‘You know there’s so much going on let’s not take a chance,’ and I went to the hospital on the way home,” Leahy recounted Wednesday morning.
Leahy’s spokesman issued a statement Tuesday evening reporting that his boss went to George Washington University hospital for observation on the Capitol physician’s recommendation.
Leahy said Wednesday that doctors gave him “a clean bill of health” and he expects to be able to preside over the trial.
“I opened the Senate this morning,” he noted.
Leahy, who is 80 years old and has served in the Senate since 1975, said he’s healthy enough to serve out the remainder of his term but hasn’t yet decided whether to run in 2022 for reelection to a ninth term.
Asked if he is fit enough to serve out his term, Leahy responded, “Of course.”
On the topic of running for reelection, he asserted, “Various polls show me winning easily.”
“But you know … I never make up my mind until November, December the year before [election year] and I’m not going to know,” he said. “Usually when we’ve gone skiing and snowshoeing, then we’ll talk about it.”
Vermont has a Republican governor, Phil Scott, who would appoint a replacement for Leahy if he could not continue serving in the Senate.
Scott said last year he would appoint a member of the same party to temporarily replace a retiring senator when Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWhat the shift in Senate control means for marijuana policy reform Business groups prepare for lobbying push against minimum wage Schumer: Senate could pave way for reconciliation on COVID relief next week MORE (I-Vt.) was in the running to serve in President Biden’s Cabinet.
Vermont law requires the governor to call a special election within six months to fill a vacant Senate seat for the remainder of an uncompleted term.