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Recovering from a stroke, Sen. Lujan says he will return in weeks to vote on Supreme Court pick

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., conducts a news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center to announce a new infrastructure investment framework on Wednesday, January 29, 2020.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Democratic Sen. Ben Ray Lujan, who suffered a stroke in late January, said in a video released Sunday that he will be back in Washington in “a few short weeks” to vote on President Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nominee.

“I’m doing well. I’m strong. I’m back on the road to recovery, and I’m going to make a full recovery,” Lujan said in the video released by his office.

Flanked by his doctors, Lujan said he would spend the next few weeks at an inpatient rehabilitation facility following major surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.

“I’m proud to report, then I’ll be back on the floor of the United States Senate in just a few short weeks to vote on important legislation and to consider a Supreme Court nominee,” he added.

For the past two weeks, Lujan’s team has revealed very little about his condition, resulting in speculation that he might be unable to return to the Senate anytime soon.

Given the evenly divided Senate, Lujan’s stroke complicated Democrats’ efforts to quickly appoint a successor to retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

Without Lujan’s presence in the Senate, Democrats would not have had the 50 votes needed to confirm a replacement on a party-line vote, effectively giving Republicans veto power over their choice.

President Joe Biden said he expects to announce his nominee by the end of this month. The president has vowed to pick a Black woman to replace Breyer, and he plans to interview several prospective nominees in the coming week.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.

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