Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kennedy to return to the Senate, cancer in remission

This is certainly great news, bringing a key Obama Administration ally back to the Senate in time for the health care reform debate.
Sen. Edward Kennedy’s brain cancer is in remission and he is expected back in the Senate after the Memorial Day recess to spearhead healthcare reform, according to Democratic colleagues.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that he spoke with Kennedy’s wife, Vicki, in the past few days and was told the 77-year-old lawmaker is “doing fine.”


He is expected to lead a markup of highly anticipated health reform legislation in his first month back - one of the biggest bills of the year and a signature domestic initiative for President Obama.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), a senior member of the HELP Committee, said that Kennedy is scheduled to return to the Senate full time the week after Memorial Day recess to chair the committee markup.
In the past year since his diagnosis with brain cancer, we've seen a lot of legacy pieces in the media and books and references to the "lion of the Senate", all with the common assumption that Senator Kennedy would likely not be back in the Senate. As someone who lost an uncle to this particularly nasty version of the disease, with the diagnosis comes odds that are not favorable for the patient. But just as he has approached his job as a United States Senator, fighting for lost causes and giving voice to the voiceless, the Ted Kennedy we've come to know has fought his latest battle with the same vigor that he brings to the legislative arena and is seemingly getting the better of the enemy.

We wish Senator Kennedy continued good health and we're happy to have him back in the Senate fighting for all Americans. It will be great to have him back in the Senate health care reform debate countering the corporatist inclinations of Senator Max Baucus.

UPDATE 5/20/09 6:57p.m.: Senator Reid is now backing off of his statement that Senator Kennedy's cancer is in remission. While it's clear that Senator Kennedy still faces personal health care challenges, we're still glad to see him returning to the Senate.


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