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Sen Tim Johnson Remains In Critical Condition

Apparently this story has been forgotten amidst the fawning stories of the Democrats ascension to power and Nancy Pelosi’s coronation.

From a hopeful Associated Press:

Johnson still in critical condition, misses Senate opening

By Mary Clare Jalonick, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON — Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota remained in critical condition at George Washington University Hospital today as his party took control of the Senate.

Johnson, a Democrat, is still in intensive care after suffering a brain hemorrhage Dec. 13, and his office is preparing for his extended absence. Johnson’s doctors said Wednesday that his recovery will include physical therapy and is expected to last several months.

Julianne Fisher, spokeswoman for Johnson, said it is unclear when he will return to the chamber or whether some of his therapy would take place after he returns.

Johnson is on a ventilator at night and has not yet spoken.

"As his recovery progresses, we will know more and be able to do more," Fisher said. "We are waiting for direction from him on certain things."

It’s possible that he would be able to do some work without being present in the office, Fisher said.

She said staff are continuing with their regular duties but the office has stopped sending out mail from the senator. He will be officially considered "necessarily absent" from Senate votes until he returns.

The senator’s sudden illness raised questions about the Democrats’ one-vote majority in the upcoming Senate session. South Dakota’s Republican governor, Mike Rounds, would appoint a replacement if Johnson’s seat is vacated by his death or resignation.

A Republican appointee would create a 50-50 tie and could effectively allow the GOP to retake Senate control because of Vice President Dick Cheney’s tie-breaking vote.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., deflected questions today about Senate organization if the ratio of Democrats to Republicans were to change during the session.

"If issues rise at a later time, the Senate … we’ll work out whatever differences may develop at a later time," Reid said.

Control would not switch automatically unless Senate leaders addressed the issue in a usually obscure organizing resolution expected to be considered next week. Republicans have said they will not seek language in that resolution that would force a shift in Senate control if their party obtained a majority.

Johnson was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation, a condition, often present from birth, that causes arteries and veins to grow abnormally large, become tangled and sometimes burst. He was rushed to the hospital after becoming disoriented on a phone call with reporters and had surgery hours later.

Doctors have said he is improving and a test Wednesday showed the tangle of arteries is no longer present.

Rep. Stephanie Herseth, D-S.D., said Thursday that she is optimistic for her colleague’s full recovery.

The three delegation offices will continue to cooperate on legislation that needs to be introduced for the best interest of South Dakota, she said.

Once again, imagine if the positions were reversed and the Republican majority hung by such a slender thread.

The media would be demanding that the Senate is still not in control of the GOP. They would scream bloody murder at any suggestion that such a person might continue to hold his office, even vote from his hospital bed despite being unable to speak and presumably unable to read.

But since the Democrats control the media, there will be no such hew and cry.

And any Republican objections will be portrayed as heartless.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 5th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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