Watch Senator Kennedy's return to Capitol Hill
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy on Wednesday made his first appearance in Congress since being diagnosed with brain cancer nearly two months ago, casting a single vote to help break a Republican filibuster of an important Medicare bill.
Kennedy was greeted by his colleagues with a lengthy standing ovation when he walked onto the Senate floor just after 4:15 p.m. He was in the Chamber for about 10 minutes, and left the Capitol before the results of the vote were known.
"It feels great to be back. I'm glad to be back in the Senate," Kennedy told CNN as he was leaving Congress.
"It's enormously important... for our seniors to be able to be protected is a key defining issue for this Congress and for this country, and I didn't want to miss the opportunity to be able to express my voice and my vote."
"I'm feeling fine," he added. "I'm fatigued once in awhile, but otherwise pretty good."
He said he hopes to be back full-time soon.
A vote just over a week ago fell one vote shy of the 60 needed to end the filibuster. Wednesday's effort to break the filibuster succeeded, 69-30. Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, did not vote.
Kennedy, a 76-year-old Massachusetts Democrat, had surgery to remove the tumor June 2 and is now undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Kennedy is chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and is an influential Democrat on health-care issues.
President Bush earlier threatened to veto the legislation - so even though the Democrats beat the filibuster, they may need to corral votes afresh to override a veto.
But a spokesman for Harry Reid said it would be "politically impossible" for Republicans who switched their vote after Kennedy's dramatic appearance to change sides again and support a veto.
Good luck Senator Kennedy. You're one of the great ones.
WE LOVE YOU, TED!
Guess filibusters only should be sustained when Democrat's initiate them. Apparently Kennedy didn't have the same movement to action when so many judicial nominees have been held up. What a hypocrite he is.
Ted Kennedy needs to "retire", at his age (76), he needs to "move-on", and find something else, to "champion".There should be a limit, on age;of our elected "office holders"; some of them, have "overstayed " their time, of "affective purpose".I'm sure, he doesn't need the money.
Glad to see Mr. Kennedy do what it takes to bring leadership on something that means a great deal to and to all Americans.
I wish him well.
Way to go Ted Kennedy!!
God Bless Mr. Kennedy
Go get em Teddy
Kennedy's strength and dedication is truly inspiring!
This is news???????????
He needs to be out of the Senate. Term Limits accross the board. Democrats or Republicans. They are making this a Lifetime job.
I saw this live. Go go go Ted Kennedy, we love you.
Goes to show you can't keep a good man down.
I may not like his lifestyle nor his policitics, but I like his dedication to the job of defending what he stands for. I find his return very powerful.
geez, the man just underwent surgery for a BRAIN TUMOR!!
Shows how desperate the democrats are,, calling in people who should be in bed resting. Its so very sad that they would expect someone who is healing from brain surgery, chemotherapy and radiation to come and rescue their vote.
You don't have to like or even respect Teddy Kennedy as a politician, but you have to admire his courage and fighting spirit for what he believes in...
Go, Teddy, Go!
I can't wait to see Caroline's recommendation for VP also.
God bless, you, Senator Kennedy. You've always walked the walk.
i think the republicans are behind this,and ,yet he still manages to make it to the floor for a vote on medi-care.a true american patriot!
Great to see you back, Ted!
Good going Senator Kennedy. Get them straighten out!
Ted, you're awesome!
What a jerk Obama is. Talking about pimping one's daughter(s)!
He knew exactly what he was doing. Show the cute kids, hear them talk, make me look like a good old fashioned dad.
Then pretend I didn't know what I was doing and say I won't do it again.
Is that like saying, "Strike that from the record?"
Can't have it both ways, Barack. You USED your kids for own purposes, unlike any other president or presidential candidate all the way from Clinton to Bush and so many others who do not use little kids to make them look good.
You are an opportunistic PHONY, Barack Obama!
Glad to see you back!! Stay strong and healthy...prayers are with you.
Welcome back, sir!