Sen. Charles Grassley, the 87-year old president pro tempore of the Senate, announced Tuesday he has coronavirus.
The oldest Republican senator made the announcement by Twitter on Tuesday afternoon, hours after saying he was self-isolating after contact with someone who was infected.
‘I’ve tested positive for coronavirus. I’ll b following my doctors’ orders/CDC guidelines & continue to quarantine,’ he tweeted.
‘I’m feeling good + will keep up on my work for the ppl of Iowa from home. I appreciate everyone’s well wishes + prayers &look fwd to resuming my normal schedule soon.;
The announcement came just as the oldest member of the House, Republican Rep. Don Young, left the hospital after testing positive for the virus.
‘I learned today that I’ve been exposed to the coronavirus. I will follow my doctors’ orders and immediately quarantine as I await my test results. I’m feeling well and not currently experiencing any symptoms, but it’s important we all follow public health guidelines to keep each other healthy,’ Grassley said in a statement.
Sen. Charles Grassley, the 87-year old president pro tempore of the Senate, has tested positive for COVID
‘Very frankly, I had not felt this sick in a very long time, and I am grateful to everyone who has kept me in their thoughts and prayers,’ Young said in an emailed statement, Alaska Public Radio reported.
Young, 87, is the longest-serving Republican in the House.
Grassley’s role as president pro-tempore is largely ceremonial but also puts him high up in the presidential in the of succession.
The conservative who has backed Trump on tax cuts and judicial nominees, and joined Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson in releasing a report on Hunter Biden ‘corruption’ weeks before Election Day.
He hasn’t missed a vote since 1993. He was seen in the Capitol Monday, where he commented on a COVID relief package.
He accused Democratic leaders of not wanting to act on a package, then played hardball if they wouldn’t come towards the GOP position of a dramatically scaled back package.
‘I just think if we could have something like a tailored targeted thing, we could get it done. You know, they’re going to have to agree to it or it’s not even going to come up,’ Grassley said.
It also has potential policy implications in the immediate term.
In this Nov. 3, 2020, file photo, Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, gathers with supporters in Anchorage, Alaska. Young, the longest-serving Republican ever in the U.S. House, has won his 25th term. Young defeated Alyse Galvin in back-to-back elections for Alaska’s sole seat in the House. The race was called Wednesday, Nov. 11. Young was released from the hospital Sunday
With two Republican senators in quarantine, the ability of Senate GOP leaders to call up the nomination of Judy Shelton to fill a vacancy on the Federal Reserve was called into doubt
The exposure of a second Republican senator to the coronavirus threw into doubt Tuesday the Senate’s vote on President Donald Trump´s controversial pick for the Federal Reserve, former economic adviser Judy Shelton.
Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida is also quarantining because of exposure to the virus.
Trump’s Republican Party has a 53-47 majority in the current Senate, so the absences would put the effective number down to 51.
Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander on Monday joined Republican colleagues Mitt Romney and Susan Collins in indicating he opposes Shelton’s confirmation.
A procedural vote was expected to come on Tuesday afternoon, with a final vote on Shelton’s confirmation later in the day. But Grassley’s absence could deprive Republicans of the necessary majority to muscle through Shelton’s confirmation. Senate rules do not allow for voting by proxy.
Shelton, an adviser to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, has argued the nation would be better off returning to the gold standard and as recently as 2017 criticized the Fed´s power over money and financial markets as ‘quite unhealthy.’
Her views on interest rates have moved in lockstep with Trump´s.
She lambasted easy money before Trump´s presidency but supported it after he took office, and has expressed skepticism over the Fed´s need to set policy independently from the president and Congress.
The news comes after numerous people tested positive after attending an election night party at the White House.