Senate President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the longest-serving sitting senator and third in the line of presidential succession, underwent surgery Thursday morning after he fell and broke his hip a day earlier.
Leahy’s office confirmed in a statement that the 82-year-old took a tumble at his McLean, Va. home Wednesday night.
“Having been born blind in one eye, the senator has had a lifelong struggle with reduced depth perception,” the statement read. “He has taken some remarkable dingers over the years but this one finally caught up with him.”
Leahy communications director David Carle confirmed to The Post Thursday that a local hospital “was able to fit in his repair (not replace) surgery late this morning.”
The senator is “expected to make a full recovery and begin a healthy course of physical therapy immediately,” his office added.
As the Senate President Pro Tempore, Leahy follows only Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the presidential line if President Biden is suddenly unable to perform his duties.
In November, Leahy announced that he plans to retire at the conclusion of his current term, which expires in January. Leahy was first elected to the Senate in 1974.
Carle confirmed that Leahy intends to complete his full term since he and his team “expect a full recovery.”
In announcing his retirement, Leahy said, “it is time to pass the torch to the next Vermonter who will carry on this work for our great state. It’s time to come home.”
Leahy was also briefly hospitalized in January 2021, after he complained of not feeling well at the beginning of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial.
While the Senate is currently out of session, the emergency surgery may mean Leahy will have to miss time when the 50-50 chamber reconvenes next month – limiting Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s already slim ability to bring matters to the floor.
Leahy is not the only sitting senator to be hospitalized in recent days. Last week, Republican North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer announced he might need some of the fingers of his right hand amputated after a serious yard work injury.