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Iowa’s Chuck Grassley back to work in a wheelchair following hip surgery
The 89-year-old said he fell at D.C. town house
Iowa Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley is back to work this week at the U.S. Capitol after undergoing surgery Jan. 11 to repair a fracture in his hip.
The 89-year-old appeared Wednesday in a wheelchair at a Senate Agriculture Committee. Arkansas Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, ranking member of the committee, said “Grassley made a great effort to be here.”
On a conference call with reporters afterward, Grassley said he “did a stupid thing” while in the kitchen of his Washington, D.C., town house to injure himself.
“It didn’t work and I fell and broke my hip,” he said. “Three weeks ago today I had an operation to fix it, and that’s it.”
Grassley said he is on the way to a full recovery and never missed a vote in the Senate since the injury. The senator’s office told The Gazette that he is having his routine post-op physical therapy appointments in the U.S. Capitol so he can continue his work.
“I’m doing very well, and the outpouring people saying they’re praying for me, I just want to tell everybody that means a lot for me,” Grassley told reporters. “I’ve been in the office every day this week. I continued my practice of not missing votes. Although the way (U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck) Schumer is running the United States Senate, there aren’t many votes to miss, if I did miss them.”
He said he was keeping up with a full schedule Wednesday.
Grassley was elected in November and sworn in to his eighth term in the Senate on Jan. 3, becoming the longest-serving member of the chamber. He appeared Jan. 9 at the opening day of the 2023 session of the Iowa Legislature, where his grandson is speaker of the Iowa House.
Grassley also was asked about President Joe Biden’s scheduled meeting Wednesday with Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy over the need to raise the nation’s borrowing limit to avoid a default that could lead a financial crisis.
Republicans have refused to raise the statutory debt limit unless the White House accepts cuts in federal spending. Biden has said he expects Congress to raise the borrowing cap with no strings attached.
“Adopting reasonable fiscal measures as part of a debt-limit increase is the responsible thing to do and I hope President Biden will show more of a cooperative attitude towards working with the House of Representatives on this point and negotiating in good faith,” Grassley said. “Holding out until the last minute is reckless and irresponsible.”
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