How filling a vacancy in Congress work in Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been medically cleared to resume his duties. The announcement comes following an incident Wednesday in which he appeared to freeze for several seconds while speaking with reporters.
The incident in the latest highlights the health and age of some members of Congress from both sides of the aisle.
On Wednesday, Sen. Mitch McConnell appeared to freeze at a press conference in Covington when a reporter asked the senator about his future plans.
Thursday afternoon, the attending physician of the congress said McConnell is medically cleared to keep working.
“Occasional lightheadedness is not uncommon in concussion recovery and can also be expected as a result of dehydration,” according to the physician.
The incident has generated speculation and concerns about McConnell’s health.
“I spoke to Mitch. He’s a friend, and I spoke to him today, and he was his old self on the telephone,” said President Biden. “It’s not at all unusual to have the response that sometimes happens to Mitch when you’ve had a severe concussion. It’s part of the recovery.”
If McConnell decides to leave his senate seat completely before his term is complete, Kentucky’s Republican-controlled legislature has implemented the framework for replacement.
“Every state legislator is at least keeping an eye on how can we design the laws as such that it makes sure that our party keeps its people in office?” said Dr. Matthew Howell, an associate professor of government at Eastern Kentucky University.
Instead of Democratic Governor Andy Beshear deciding on his own, the party with the vacancy would give the governor three replacement options and 21 days to decide.
McConnell has given no indication of stepping back.
Dr. Howell says behind the scenes, staff can help politicians to continue to serve their constituents, even if a temporary absence is ever needed.
“A lot of these people really don’t necessarily need to step down because the part of the job that they actually have to do, they’re capable of doing,” said Dr. Howell.
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