Democrats Lost Their Majority in the Senate (For Now) and That’s Kind of a Big Deal

Last week, Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) suffered a stroke and underwent brain surgery. He is currently hospitalized in Albuquerque. He is expected to return to the U.S. Senate in four to six weeks, assuming there are no further medical complications. However, during his absence, Democrats no longer have a majority in the Senate—Republicans have a 50-49 majority.

This means that until Luján returns, a united GOP can block the Democrats’ agenda and there’s nothing the Democrats could do about it.

This is actually a big deal. In addition to blocking the Democrats’ legislative agenda, Luján’s absence could potentially impact Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nomination.

Biden has said he plans to announce his Supreme Court nominee at the end of February, and the average time from nomination to confirmation in recent decades has been 41 days. If Lujan’s return to the U.S. Senate is delayed, it could change the timeline or the outcome of Biden’s Supreme Court nomination.

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