Democrat Sen. Ben Ray Luján hospitalized after suffering stroke

Sen. Ben Ray Luján is recovering in a New Mexico hospital after suffering a stroke last week.

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The New Mexico Democrat, age 49, checked himself into the hospital complaining of dizziness and fatigue, according to his chief of staff, Carlos Sanchez.

“Senator was found to have suffered a stroke in the cerebellum, affecting his balance,” Mr. Sanchez said in a statement posted to the senator’s Twitter account. “As part of his treatment plan, he subsequently underwent decompressive surgery to ease swelling.”

Luján is expected to make a full recovery, according to his staff.

Luján’s stroke and the time it takes for him to recover is a topic of concern for both his personal health and for his vote in the Senate.

Currently, the Senate is evenly split with 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats and Independents who caucus with Democrats. With Luján out, some have wondered what it means for some of the Biden administration’s proposed legislation, in addition to the president’s upcoming Supreme Court nomination.

Democrats will need all 50 Democrat votes to confirm a Supreme Court nominee in the Senate if all 50 Republicans vote against the nominee. If there is a tie vote, then Vice President Kamala Harris’ vote would be needed to break the tie.

“It’s hard to evaluate what it means for here (the Senate),” Sen. Bob Casey, D- Pennsylvania. told The New York Times. “On the human level, it’s scary. It just reminds all of us how good health is something we hope to be blessed by.”

Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-North .Dakota., said he looks forward to Luján’s return and suggests doing what can be done until he can return to the Senate.

“My hope is that we all love each other enough to just slow down, do work that we can get done that won’t be affected by his being gone and get him the hell back here when it’s safe,” Cramer said.

“Gosh, just the nicest guy in the world,” he said of Luján.

Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois did not know that Luján had suffered a stroke until reporters told him late Tuesday afternoon, CNN reported.

“Oh, my God, I didn’t know that,” Durbin responded, adding that it wasn’t clear how Luján’s absence could impact the vote schedule on the floor.