(DailyVantage.com) – In recent weeks, Democrats have had a rather tenuous majority in the Senate. With the absences of John Fetterman (D-PA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the Senate breakdown is 49-49, with Vice President Kamala Harris being the tie-breaker.
Fetterman, who has been plagued by various medical problems since his stroke in 2022, checked himself into the hospital with severe clinical depression last month. Though new images posted by Fetterman’s wife, Gisele, seem to indicate that the Pennsylvania Senator is on the mend, he has been out of commission since mid-February.
Feinstein, who turns 90 in June, has also been on a leave of absence. She is currently at her home in California receiving treatment for shingles. Feinstein is the oldest member of the Senate, with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) being just a few months younger.
The vacancies, though, have left Senate Democrats vulnerable. Fetterman and Feinstein have already missed important votes.
With a 49-49 Senate, moderate Democrats like Jon Tester (D-MT) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) can easily obstruct legislation. Independents Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) and Angus King (I-ME) also have the potential to further complicate things.
There is virtually no room for dissent from within the Party.
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) said the following about the state of the Senate in the wake of the recent absences: “Does it create challenges? It absolutely does. Does it slow the process down? Sometimes.”
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) echoed Booker’s statements saying “We’re working around them…Stuff happens. We’re human.”
This week the Senate, with the support of Manchin and possibly even a few other more moderate Democrats, will likely pass a resolution that would reverse the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, an EPA regulation enacted under the Biden administration.
Without the two reliably Democratic votes in the Senate, Biden will have no choice but to veto the decision.
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