July 9th, 2008
03:35 PM ET
6 years ago

Kennedy weighing Senate comeback

Kennedy was released from the hospital in May
Kennedy was released from the hospital in May

(CNN) - Sen. Ted Kennedy, who was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor nearly two months ago, is weighing whether to return to the Capitol Wednesday afternoon, for the first time since he got sick, to help break a Republican filibuster of an important Medicare bill, a senior Democrat on Capitol Hill told CNN.

The source said Kennedy’s return has been “discussed but is doubtful” because Kennedy’s family is concerned the travel would be too strenuous on the 76 year-old who had surgery to remove the tumor and is now undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Watch: Kennedy released from the hospital

The vote is scheduled for 4 p.m. so a final decision is expected shortly whether to have Kennedy leave Massachusetts and fly to Washington.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has talked to Kennedy’s wife Vicki twice since Sunday about having Kennedy return for the vote, the source said. Reid “was not pushing, just asking,” the source said.

“The family doesn’t want to do it,” the source said.

A previous vote fell one vote shy of clearing the filibuster just over a week ago. The underlying bill would reverse a 10.6 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors that will go into effect this month.

Kennedy is chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and is an influential Democrat on health care issues. Some members of the Democratic leadership think it would be a “great idea” if Kennedy were able to return because it would “buck up” Democratic senators who have worked hard to pass the stalled bill, the source said.


Filed under: Ted Kennedy
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. not important

    Ted should just retire and relax.

    July 9, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  2. OOPs

    They need one more vote. Where is Obama?

    July 9, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  3. M.S. Indiana

    est wishes to you Kennedy !!
    We hope you can come back and work, we need you !!!

    Obama Country !!! 2008 and beyond

    July 9, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. Independent Voter

    Why not? He can go sailing.

    July 9, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. Bob

    Obamas "Big Iran Plan"

    Aggressive Diplomacy huh. What does that mean? Sending Jimmy Carter to Iran to unconditionally surrender? That worked so well in N. Korea in the mid 90’s.

    If so, I hope that Iran takes Jimmy Hostage this time. Liberals = usefull idiots to the USA’s enemies, and useless idiots for the rest of us. Let’s just ship all the Liberals to Iran to negotiate and hope that they are taken hostage.

    July 9, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  6. Gabriel

    This is how we would like to think of all our elected officials; selfless public servants working to represent their constituents and fellow Americans.

    A true testament of what a great man Senator Kennedy really is. We pray for his health and admire his courage.

    July 9, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. Jim in FL

    Not a fan of Teddy's, but Godspeed in your recovery Mr. Kennedy.

    July 9, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. Freida, NYC

    I like Ted Kennedy, but i strongly believe he should take it easy, and stay home resting for a longer time. He is going to need all the physical strengh and energy in order to recover from the toll that chemo and radiation therapy leave in your body.

    I wish him well!

    July 9, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Obama Supporter from FL

    Wow. I understand that it is an important vote, but your health is more important! Stay home and take care, Sen. Kennedy.

    July 9, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  10. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This is a disgrace what the Republicans are doing to medicare recipients which include all groups of people; elderly, children, military dependents, mentally and physically disabled. They don't care because it doesn't affect them.

    July 9, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. Rick

    I hope he recovers from his illness but he needs to stay away from the senate.....permanently. He's done enough damage to this country.

    July 9, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. DEAL OR NO DEAL

    CNN) — Sen. Ted Kennedy, who was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor nearly two months ago, is weighing whether to return to the Capitol Wednesday afternoon, for the first time since he got sick, to help break a Republican filibuster of an important Medicare bill, a senior Democrat on Capitol Hill told CNN.
    I don't know Senator .........Tough CALL!!!1

    July 9, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. Brian, Pittsburgh

    Ted Kennedy is a true American Hero. He's done enough to retire and leave a wonderful legacy. But the fact that he wants to keep fighting hard for the American people says a lot about his character. Go Ted!

    Obama '08!

    July 9, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. Pepou

    Thank God we have Senator Kennedy ! A true democrat and a great American. We need him !!

    July 9, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. Bill from Woodstock

    How fitting that the lion of the Senate may return for this vote. I hope he does return for this vote, despite the family concern. What a scene on the Senate floor that would be with TK there to break the Republican filibuster of this medicare bill. No other modern day politician has done more for those in need. He is a hero. Go get em Ted!

    July 9, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. Patrick Henry

    Meanwhile...they ones getting screwed are the doctors.
    Patients will benefit from the cuts because their coinsurance will also go down.
    The Fed is very happy–because all medicare payments are halted until the issue it resolved.
    Doctors–who've lost money every years since 2005–will be the only losers. Though they are already getting less than 60% of their usual and customary charges from medicare–they're facing even harsher reductions.

    Thanks Uncle Sam.
    And we really want these guys to manage a unversal healthplan for us?

    Somebody shake me awake!!!!

    July 9, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. P. Morrison

    This amazing statesman reflects the work ethic and the devotion to our country that more of our politicians would be wise to adopt. Our prayers will continue to be with him as he fights a courageous battle against this dreaded disease.

    July 9, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  18. Chad, Wisco

    Disagree with him on almost everything, but wish him the best in his recovery and hope he doesnt risk his health by coming back to soon.

    July 9, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  19. Tommy Lee

    I hope Senator Kennedy can do the vote. Medicare and Social Security have been targets for elimination by the Republicans since Democrats started the programs in the 1930s to help a starving nation left by Republican President Herbert Hoover.

    Hoover drove us into the Great Depression. HW Bush left us with an officially defined recession and his son W Bush is leaving us with foreclosures and oil price surges.

    From the economy to healthcare and retirement–Republicans watch out for only the rich. When will America learn they do not look after anyone but their rich friends?

    Many prayers for a full recovery for Senator Kennedy.

    July 9, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  20. proud army and navy mom

    he should go and vote. he'll be alright.

    July 9, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  21. Linda from Prescott AZ

    Senator Kennedy must do what is best for his health.

    July 9, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. DC Insider

    The Senate will start playing the theme song from Rocky and Kennedy will come out in a Celtics jersey and cast the deciding vote – gotta luv the guy

    July 9, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. Lucieann

    I hope he does return. He is the voice of reason in the Senate, and a voice that will be missed should he not

    July 9, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  24. HG

    Why doesnt he just leave the senate. The job you are getting paid almost $200,000 requires you to go to work. Boy wouldnt it be nice if the average hard working person could just say I dont feel like going to work today. And these politicans wonder why the American people dont trust them and hate them. Keep running the show the way it is, pretty soon we will be a third world one.

    Re elect none of these clowns, vote them all out.

    July 9, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  25. R.I.F.

    Why no ticker about the 60 year old lady who was harrased and given a ticket for standing outside of a McCain Town Hall in Denver holding a sign that merely said McCain=Bush? You ran the headscarf Obama story for days and haven't even said a peep about this.

    Also, what about McCain's killing Iranians "joke"? If something like this came out of Obama's mouth you would be runnning it for weeks. This whole "this campaign is a reformandum on Obama" is just an excuse to hammer Obama every day and let McCain do whatever he pleases.

    July 9, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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