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Kennedy Returns to Senate for Lame-Duck Session

By Ben Pershing

After being absent for the better part of six months to undergo cancer treatments, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) is back in the chamber this week for what may be the final legislative sessions of the 110th Congress.

"It's good to be back in the Senate," Kennedy said in a statement released by his office. "I am particularly looking forward to seeing my staff and my colleagues and to working in the current brief session on a realistic new stimulus package to help our fellow Americans who are suffering in this economic crisis."

Since he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in May, Kennedy has been away from the chamber coping with radiation and chemotherapy. He made a brief, dramatic return to the Senate floor in July to cast a key vote on proceeding to passage of a measure blocking physician pay cuts under Medicare. But other than that vote and a surprise appearance at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Kennedy has been largely out of the public eye.

Despite Kennedy's expressed desire to work on a stimulus bill this week, it appears unlikely anything will get signed into law beyond a possible extension of unemployment benefits, given that the Bush administration and most Senate Republicans are opposed to moving anything more ambitious. Democrats will need all the votes they can get this week, as Barack Obama has resigned from the chamber and Joe Biden is not expected to cast any votes either.

But Kennedy already has his sights set on next year. As The Sleuth reported, Kennedy is eager to get working on a new health care reform bill in collaboration with the new Obama administration, and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions panel chairman has gone so far as rejecting a request by Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) that a new subcommittee on health care be created for her to chair.

"I will also continue to lay the ground work for early action by Congress on health reform when President Obama takes office in January," Kennedy said in the statement. "We've been making real progress in our discussions about a consensus approach, and I'm optimistic we'll succeed.

"I am grateful for the prayers and good wishes I've received over the past several months. They have certainly lifted my spirits, as has the election of Barack Obama as our 44th President.""

By Ben Pershing  |  November 17, 2008; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  Agenda , Senate  
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Comments

WELCOME BACK, SENATOR KENNEDY !!!

THE MIND STILL APPEARS TO BE FULLY FUNCTIONING --- AMAZING FOR BRAIN CANCER.

GOD SPEED YOUR NOBLE EFFORTS ON BEHALF OF AMERICA !!!

Posted by: brucerealtor@gmail.com | November 17, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Good to have you back, Senator.

Now get to work. There's a lot of ground to cover and we need you.

Posted by: overhereontheleft | November 17, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Probably wants to extend Un-Employment, AND increase Work Visa for Foreign Nationals!

LOL! :-D

Only Congressman wanting to do as much;


With a LEGITIMATE Excuse! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | November 17, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

It's so heartwarming to see such a true lion of good government return to the Senate! It's good to see his spirit strong.

Posted by: burnskevin | November 17, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I think Senator Ted Kennedy is one of those politicians America can go proud of.

Also, when he speaks on TV,I understand each and every word he pronounces.
That is, probably, because he comes from a well educated area of the USA.

Bravo Senator, I hope to watch you soon on TV.
Best wishes from Italy.
Giuseppe

Posted by: thermali | November 17, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Aww, SAINT, you charmer, you!

Posted by: bobsewell | November 17, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

GREAT to have you back Senator.... thanx for your courage and strength.... especially not letting Rodham Clinton turn it into a commodity she can exchange for the Presidency.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | November 17, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back... and remind me, does he come from the "real" America nor the "not-real" part of America?

Posted by: buddroke1 | November 17, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Kennedy, though from afar, I think it is great that you are returning. You are a profile in bipartisan hard work. Take it easy, though, and stretch yourself out some!

America needs your talents for a long time to come.

Posted by: ChandraShekharBalachandran | November 17, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The sickness has obviously taken its toll. He looks coherent, but tired and obviously struggling to get out the words he wants to say. I don't think he'll last more than a few more months before he'll have to retire. Thank God he's from Massachusetts and not a swing state - at least we know his replacement will be a Democrat!

Posted by: treetopflyer | November 17, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

I was kinda hoping,
The next article I read about Teddy, was the one this liberal rag of a newspaper writes about this slob of a man, taking a dirt nap.

With Love

The kopechne's

Posted by: dashriprock | November 17, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back, Senator Kennedy. It is good to see you back in the saddle. Be sure to follow doctors' orders and pace yourself... we all want you back for a long time!

Posted by: ANetliner | November 17, 2008 7:17 PM | Report abuse

A lame duck during a lame duck session - how fitting for Kennedy's return.

Kennedy's "efforts" for America have cost you and I how much????? He needed to retire MANY yeatrs ago, and his staying on is a reminder of how out of touch that Democrat is with ordinary Americans. His nationalization of health care is a big mistake and to the help of nobody. We are BROKE - can you get it???

Posted by: jgdonahue | November 17, 2008 10:20 PM | Report abuse

WELL TEDDY HAS DONE IT AGAIN.THE "OLD WARHORSE" HAS DONE IT AGAIN.HE AND HIS "OLD CRONIES"WILL RULE THIS NATION AS
BEFORE HIS ILLNESS.BETWEEN BYRD AND HIMSELF IT WILL BE "POLITICS AS USUAL" IN THE SENATE.I GUESS THE PEOPLE OF MASSACHUSETTS DON'T KNOW WHO ELSE TO VOTE FOR.HE MUST BRING LOTS OF "PORK" BACK TO MASSACHUSETTS OTHERWISE THE PEOPLE WOULD NOT BE RE-ELECTING HIM ALL THESE YEARS.I GUESS THEY DON'T KNOW ANY BETTER IT SEEMS.BY THE WAY I AM SEVENTY FIVE(75) YEARS OLD AND I KNEW WHEN TO QUIT.I GUESS I KNEW WHEN IT WAS TIME TO RETIRE.I GUESS HE DOSEN'T WHEN IT IS TIME TO GO.

Posted by: Rmarks003 | November 18, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

First, it is so wonderful to see Senator Kennedy back!! Only people ignorant of history would disparage this man who is admired by Republicans and Democrats alike, both professionally for the high quality and dedication of the work done by his Senate staff, and personally for the passion and integrity he brings to work everyday.
Second, again ignorance speaks when folks talk of "nationalizing" health care. It is health insurance which needs to be nationalized, at a savings of millions of dollars to taxpayers. Think about it logically: private insurance companies have 20-30% administrative costs including huge departments devoted to finding reasons to NOT pay claims, as opposed to the 2-3% administrative costs of Medicare (government-provided health insurance for those over 65). That means with private insurance companies we get less health care and it costs more. Additionally, cost to taxpayers for the uninsured is astronomical because the uninsured don't get preventive care and so preventable conditions get worse and then these folks go to emergency rooms with more advanced problems which require more expensive treatments AND the taxpayer picks up all these bills. And lastly every business man with two functioning neurons favors national health insurance because this would take the burden off businesses and would therefore help to level the playing field so American companies could compete globally.

Posted by: twiliteblogger | November 19, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Edward Kennedy roars back into the Senate. How wonderful that his health has allowed him to return to his home. I think that, with his guidance, President Obama will be able to truly help countless Americans. Sen. Kennedy is an inspiration to all, and has achieved more in his years of legislating than either of his brothers were capable of during their brief careers. Too often comments are made about Sen. Kennedy's failings in comparison to his brothers. I'm glad we've still a bit of Camelot to lead us into this historic administration.

Posted by: jakiriakis | November 19, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Kennedy it was so nice to see you you really look good i hope you continue to get better my family prayer are with you and your family with much respect nyoka davis

Posted by: nyokadavis | November 19, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

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