July 9th, 2008
03:35 PM ET
10 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. Free thinker

    Welcome back....

    Now get rid of your puppet, Obama.

    If Obama is SO desired by ALL Americans... why is he even with the least electable republican of them all, in a shoo in year for the democrats?

    No track record, no experience, no resume, no qualifications... that's why.

    You sacrificed your BEST candidate to advance your WORST one.

    Black is not THAT beautiful... neither is delivering a speech.


    July 9, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. Not bitter nor angry

    Time to retire... and take your created hype, Obama with you.

    July 9, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. Not bitter nor angry

    Ted... you meant well but you destroyed the party by introducing into it the deceitful, professional, politician, Obama.

    July 9, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. California Gold

    Prayers for Senator Kennedy's recovery and for his family.

    July 9, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Chris

    My buddy just saw Kennedy and his family sailing in Cape Cod, so i guess he won't be voting today.

    July 9, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. PUMA for BARR

    Get well Kennedy, don't let the Repubs harm your health. But since it's something you truely beleive in, it's worth it.

    July 9, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. James, Redlands, CA

    I hope he is able to make it because if doctors continue to have their compensation cut for the work they perform, medicare patients are going to find it more difficult to find physicians who will treat them. That is a fact that people who don't have the Congress' and government employees insurance will find out the hard way. That will only serve to decrease health care to even more Americans.

    Good luck Senator Kennedy.

    July 9, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  8. Curse of Obama

    Ted, I wish you good health... but you lost my respect when you gave us the CURSE OF OBAMA.

    Please trust and allow the voters to make up their own minds and then vote. Your job: COUNT all the votes fairly.

    The democratic party is now a house divided.

    July 9, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. The wrong nominee

    I wish you well.... I am not a hater....

    But I will never forgive you for pushing Obama and knocking down Hillary.

    July 9, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  10. PUMA

    Obama needs you to prop him up.

    The people reject him.

    July 9, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. P.U.M.A- true democrat for fair campains

    I admire your dedication and service.

    But you did the party and the country a DISservice by backing the wrong nominee.

    Best to stay neutral and let the people exercise their RIGHT to vote in a fair campaign.

    July 9, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. Marshall

    Good for Ted. It is nice to see him recover so quickly! Thanks Bob for ranting about something of topic. Your RockTed!

    July 9, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  13. DNC failed the base

    Why TEd?

    Why did you help select and install the demagogue, Obama.

    Still, I wish you good health.

    July 9, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. nyer

    A "hero"? Ted Kennedy? You people are all crazy. He's a murderer.

    July 9, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. Take Care Senator

    It would be America's loss, but I hope the Senator does what is best for him and takes care of himself. I wish him all the best.

    Deirda, CA

    July 9, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. Kelby from Houston, TX

    Let him come back. At least until a suitable Democratic replacement can be found

    July 9, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Marv

    So Kennedy can get out of his hospital bed and make it to a Senate vote, but Senator McCain has not been able to make a single vote since April 8. McCain now ranks as the #1 most absent senator of the 110th Congress, having missed 61.8 percent of the votes. He even beats Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), who took several months off while recovering from a brain hemorrhage. Important votes missed include the economic stimulus package and “at least seven votes of prominence on Iraq.”

    July 9, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  18. Abby

    To care about other people’s health as much as you so, Senator, is incredible.
    May God grant you a full recovery.

    July 9, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. Ron

    Great strength of character and a true commitment to every citizen. Whether he travels today or not, he is an extrodinary man and we wish him only the best as he continues to battle his cancer. Gods Speed Senator Kennedy.

    July 9, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. Susan

    Keep getting well!! Our family went through this with my Dad.

    Get stronger everyday!!

    July 9, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  21. Kris Hussain from AZ

    kennedy is a patriot and I am sure he would not feel good on an important vote if not there. We will have to wait and see

    July 9, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  22. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Wow! Shades of Herbert Humphrey.

    July 9, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  23. Jeff

    Senator Kennedy has been a great advocate for those who are unable to help themselves.

    July 9, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  24. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    Maybe this is the time for all that is away from the senate to return to the Senate. I can understand why the travel would be too strenuous on Sen. Kennedy. Can they not set up a monitor from the congress to Senator Kennedy's home? This way the Senator can be comfortable and if he needs to rest he can. I also suggest that no media be allowed to take pictures of the monitor during this meeting.

    God's speed to Senator Kennedy

    July 9, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  25. eric

    Hey Bob, apparently you don't know a thing about the Cuban Missle Crisis and how liberal foreign policy averted a nuclear war. If conservatives had their way, you wouldn't even be here to trash talk liberals. I suppose it was too much for Bob to post anything closely related to the article at hand too. Conservatives: The voluntarily mentally retarded.

    Kennedy's vote would help and the country would be better off if he could make it. Of course, a single-payer plan would solve all of this stupidity in health care, but god forbid we have anything remotely close to rational health policy

    July 9, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
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