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. texas DEM

    LOST respect for kennedy after he became a judas and did not endorse clinton during the primary.

    July 9, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  2. saga4obama

    get well TK...we will prey for you

    July 9, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  3. Mike, FL

    Wish u all the best and speedy recovery.

    July 9, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. vw

    Respect this man and hope he will be doing well.

    Hope he can retire and have a rest at home.

    July 9, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. R

    Why can't he vote via web cam from some Federal office nearby or something?

    July 9, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. Rick

    I suppose he'll cross that bridge when he comes to it.

    July 9, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  7. Samilton

    I understand he made it, and made it on foot. He is a fighter! I pray because he put his self to the side that God will restore his heath double – We need him in the senate!

    God Bless him!

    July 9, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. KC Charlie

    With the technology available to day, why can't all representatives vote via secure email? There should be virtually for Ted or Barrack either to miss a vote.

    July 9, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  9. David

    Congerss is better without this joke. He and his family has spounged enough off america already.

    July 9, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  10. bob in L.A.

    Another article says he did make it back- WOW!

    July 9, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. Matthew J.

    I can't believe how despicable Harry Reid is for pressuring Mr. Kennedy to come back to vote on one bill.

    If you are only one vote short, you don't have enough support!

    Re-do the bill to get the support!

    July 9, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. Dems be dopes

    I'm not real fond of Ted Kennedy, his policies or his lack of judgement on just about everything he does.

    I do wish him good luck and Godspeed on a fast and complete recovery.

    July 9, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Good man

    Champion to the little man and underpriviledged godspeed Mr Kennedy. Hope you continue to make a difference.

    July 9, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. Ridgeway

    Super. I'm giddy. Obama won't show to vote. He hasn't done anything since his election why start now.

    July 9, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. Willy

    Time waits for know one and it won't for Ted.

    July 9, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. Mark

    Obama is on the hill voting today. McCain is the presidential candidate who is absent.

    July 9, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. Phillip

    With everything the current republican office holders have done to crush the standard of living the U.S.A. and now they want to continue to make it hard on the old folk is just heart breaking. Come on back Ted we need you.

    July 9, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. H-ROD

    Ted rest stay home get better , thanks for the vote today but take care of yourself first and thanks for all your years of service all the best to you sir !!!

    July 9, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. heather,elliott


    July 9, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. heather,elliott


    July 9, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. Nick

    Ted is one of the few kennedy's to survive this long, although I would love to see him in back in the senate, I think he deserves to and should enjoy his end years

    July 9, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. H-ROD

    Mccain=Bush Mccain=Bush Mccain=Bush Mccain=Bush Mccain=Bush Mccain=Bush Mccain=Bush You Go! 61 year old lady thank you too , you got arested for carring a sign saying Mccain=Bush outside a Mccain town hall meeting WHY ! (yes Obama can ) oh yeah 95% of the time Mccain voted with BUSH

    July 9, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. Can we just be American?

    Love you Kennedy you are a true American... we appreciate your vote but we want you healthy!

    Get well soon and come back to the Senate with Obama as President!

    July 9, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  24. William,from Cali!

    Ted Kennedy needs to retire!

    July 9, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. Faye

    If you believe some of these comments by Democrats, everything is the Republicans' fault including this Medicare mess! Like the Republicans don't have families with disabilities or parents receiving Medicare and Social Security! Why don't some of you wake up and put the blame on everyone that sits up on that hill–representing all parties?

    Glad Ted Kennedy could make it and wish him well. He isn't one of my favorites, but I still respect him and his long service!

    July 9, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
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