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Senate President Pro Tempore Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), the most senior member of the Senate Democratic Caucus who stands third in the line of presidential succession, fell and broke his hip and will undergo surgery Thursday.
Leahy, who is 82 years old, fell Wednesday evening at his home in McLean, Va., his office announced.
Leahy’s emergency surgery means he may have to miss time in the Senate, which would limit what Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) could schedule in the 50-50 Senate.
Any nominee who doesn’t have Republican support will have to wait for Leahy’s return to work unless there’s also an absence on the GOP side of the aisle.
“This morning, Sen. Leahy will undergo surgery to repair a broken hip that he suffered as a result from a fall at his house in McLean, Virginia, Wednesday night,” Leahy’s office announced in a statement.
The statement said lack of depth perception was a factor and that the senior senator is expected to make a full recovery.
“Having been born blind in one eye, the Senator has had a lifelong struggle with reduced depth perception. He has taken some remarkable dingers over the years but this one finally caught up with him,” his office said.
The office said that doctors determined the best course of action would be to have surgery to repair his broken hip as soon as possible.
Leahy, who is serving his eighth Senate term, announced in November that he would retire at the end of this year.
Only Vice President Harris and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are ahead of Leahy in the line of succession should President Biden not be able to perform his duties.