Capital Clicks

New Mexico’s Luján back and voting in the U.S. Senate after recovery from stroke

By: - March 3, 2022 1:53 pm

U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján, D-NM, in this file photo from June 30, 2020, delivers remarks during a news conference outside the U.S. Capitol. At the time, Luján was a member of the U.S. House. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images)

U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján returned to work in Washington, D.C., Thursday after more than a month in his home state recovering from a stroke.

C-SPAN video showed the New Mexico Democrat’s fellow senators gave Luján a standing ovation when he walked into a Senate Commerce Committee hearing Thursday morning.

Democrats Jacky Rosen of Nevada, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and John Hickenlooper of Colorado hugged Luján before he took his seat on the dais.

“It’s an absolute honor to be back,” he said. “Everyone that sent me notes, that sent videos and all the prayers, it worked. And it’s good to be back — I’ll tell you, I missed y’all. So, looking forward to getting back to work.”

Luján, 49, had been away since he checked himself into a Santa Fe hospital Jan. 27 feeling dizzy and fatigued. Doctors diagnosed a stroke and he remained hospitalized for weeks.

The freshman’s return to the Senate restores the 50-50 partisan balance in the chamber that favors Democrats because Vice President Kamala Harris can cast a tie-breaking vote.

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Jacob Fischler
Jacob Fischler

Jacob covers federal policy as a senior reporter for States Newsroom. Based in Oregon, he focuses on Western issues. His coverage areas include climate, energy development, public lands and infrastructure.

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