Democratic New Mexico Senator Ben Ray Luján said Sunday that he is planning to return to the Senate in time to vote for President Joe Biden’s nominee to the United States Supreme Court.
Lujan made the announcement in a video posted to his Twitter account.
“Let me begin by expressing my thanks for the outpouring of support my family and I have received from across New Mexico and around America,” Luján said, thanking his neighbors and friends in New Mexico and his colleagues in Washington, D.C. “Your prayers, your words, your daily videos, your words of encouragement have been so reassuring and have given me a lot of strength.” Luján especially thanked the medical staff at the University of New Mexico Hospital and at Christus St. Vincent, including Dr. Javed Eliyas, who performed surgery on the Senator.
“I’m doing well, I’m strong,” Luján continued. “I’m back on the road to recovery, and I’m going to make a full recovery. I’m going to walk out of here. I’m going to beat this, and I’m going to be stronger once I come out.” Luján said that he would be transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation facility to finish out the recovery process, which would take several more weeks.
“Now, I’m proud to report then I’ll be back on the floor of the United States Senate in just a few short weeks to vote on important legislation, and to consider a Supreme Court nominee,” Luján added. “Now rest assured, New Mexicans can know they will have a voice and a vote during this process. That has never changed.” He also said that he had kept his Senate office open to communicate with voters and provide services to his constituents. “It’s a priority of mine, it’s always been a priority. That will never change.” Luján also spoke briefly with two of his doctors, and thanked the entire medical staff again.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. The outpouring of support from New Mexicans and folks all around the country gives me strength every day. Excited to get back to work. pic.twitter.com/qRH2JjLTpp
— Senator Ben Ray Luján (@SenatorLujan) February 13, 2022
Luján, 49, was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2020, after serving in Congress in New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District since 2008. He was hospitalized in late January after suffering a stroke. The Daily Wire reported:
“Early Thursday morning, Senator Lujan began experiencing dizziness and fatigue. He checked himself into Christus St. Vincent Regional Hospital in Santa Fe,” Carlos Sanchez, the senator’s chief of staff, said in an email. “He was then transferred to UNM Hospital in Albuquerque for further evaluation. Senator Lujan was found to have suffered a stroke in the cerebellum, affecting his balance. As part of his treatment plan, he subsequently underwent decompressive surgery to ease swelling.”
“He is currently being cared for at UNM Hospital, resting comfortably, and expected to make a full recovery,” the statement continued. “The Senator’s offices remain open and will continue providing constituent services to all New Mexicans without any interruption. The Senator and his family would like to thank the wonderful doctors and staff at both UNM Hospital and Christus St. Vincent Regional Hospital for their excellent care during this time. Senator Lujan looks forward to getting back to work for the people of New Mexico. At this time, he and his family would appreciate their privacy, and ask for your continued prayers and well wishes.”
Luján’s absence meant that Democrats had just 49 Senators on the floor, which prompted questions about the timeline to vote in President Biden’s Supreme Court nominee in the wake of the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer.
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