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Still-Ailing Thad Cochran Won't Return to Washington Today

U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker chat at the U.S. Capitol.

Sen. Thad Cochran will not return to Washington as planned today due to ongoing health issues, according to a statement released by his office.
Cochran who has been coping with urological issues, developed another urinary tract infection and, per the advice of his physicians, will stay home to recuperate. “The Senator has expressed his intention to return to the Senate when his health permits and to fulfill his commitment and duties to the people of the state,” the statement read.
Cochran is the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, making him a power player in upcoming budget and tax reform plan discussions. According to Politico, Republicans have privately expressed concerns about Cochran’s health and how his absence could affect legislative outcomes in the Senate.
“Several sources indicated last week that Republicans are worried Cochran’s absence could last through the end of the year, which would mean the chief senator overseeing government spending would not be present for the year-end funding fight,” Politico says. “Current government funding runs out on December 8.”
Without Cochran’s vote, just two defections from the GOP’s ranks could prevent the party from passing a budget resolution, which is the only way to push through a proposed tax reform plan without Democratic support. “The Senate is slated to take up its budget later this week, and [Rand] Paul and [John] McCain are both viewed as potential ‘no’ votes,” Politico reports.

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