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

Kennedy weighing Senate comeback

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/09/art.kennedy.gi.jpg caption="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. I have McCain's missing Military Records in a Shoebox outside of Toledo

    Ted Kennedy is gangsta. Ain't no Brain tumor going to keep me down, says Kennedy.

    July 9, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  2. Jim

    Although I'm not a Kennedy lover....................it is nice to see Senator Kennedy back where he belongs and hopefully have a full recovery from this unexpected tradegy in his life.

    July 9, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. baljeet

    I know why kennedy is supporting obama, Its his brain tumor, he can't think straight. May be after chemo he will support hillary.
    Hey moderater are you on obama payroll.??

    July 9, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. Mike - Texas

    I wonder of Obama voted "present" again???? That seems to be his style.

    July 9, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  5. ed

    I wish Kennedy a full recovery, however, when people call him a American Hero, have to draw the line. He would be pulling time if he didn't have the last name Kennedy. The man has done some real good things during his time in the senate, however, his personal behavior and actions should be part of his legacy when judged by history scholars in the future.

    July 9, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. Puma = Republican

    Wish you the best!

    July 9, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. Jo

    I think Senator Kennedy certainly deserves the standing ovation he received . He's done alot for this country even if people like "Bob" don't agree with this. By the way Bob maybe we should send you to Iran, if we're lucky they will take you hostage.

    Hope you're feeling better Senator Kennedy and thanks for so many years of your selfless dedication.

    A Democrat, and proud of it!

    July 9, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  8. hussein

    thank you for today's sacrifice.i commend you,sir,for your patriotism and loyalty to this country.republicans take note of real patriotism!

    July 9, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. ch

    I wish you the best of health and luck Senator Kennedy.

    But your endorsement of Obama over the more qualified / more experienced Hillary Clinton was unforgivable. I had spent years defending you to republican friends and family members but will never feel obligated to do so again.

    Guess the people of MA spoke loudly and clearly when they handed Hillary a LANSLIDE victory there.

    July 9, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. Doris,Memphis,TN

    Ted Kennedy Americans are so proud of you!
    We wish you a speedy recovery and a long life.
    You and your family have done so much for
    the American people. God Bless You!

    July 9, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
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