Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy, 82, breaks his hip: One of the oldest members of Congress to undergo surgery after falling in his Virginia home
- Patrick Leahy, 82, fell at his Virginia home Wednesday evening and broke his hip
- His office said that the break requires him to undergo surgery Thursday morning
- Leahy is the fifth oldest and longest-serving member of the Senate and is currently President pro tempore of the upper chamber
- The fall, his office claims, is due to his ‘reduced depth perception’ from being ‘born blind in one eye’
Senator Patrick Leahy, 82, broke his hip in a fall at his home in McLean, Virginia on Wednesday evening and is undergoing surgery Thursday morning, his office announced.
The Vermont Democrat is one of the oldest members of Congress and currently serves as President pro tempore of the Senate.
‘Having been born blind in one eye, the Senator has had a lifelong struggle with reduced depth perception,’ Leahy’s office wrote in a statement on the fall. ‘He has taken some remarkable dingers over the years but this one finally caught up with him.’
The Thursday morning statement added: ‘His doctors determined that the best course of action would be to have surgery to repair his hip as soon as possible.’
‘He is expected to make a full recovery and begin a healthy course of physical therapy immediately.’
Senator Patrick Leahy, 82, fell at his Virginia home Wednesday evening and broke his hip, requiring him to undergo surgery Thursday morning
One of the woes of a 50-50 split Senate is that having just one member of your party out for any reason jeopardizes the chances of getting anything passed until their return.
Leahy is the longest serving U.S. senator and will have eight terms and 48 years in the upper chamber under his belt when his latest terms end in January 2023. The Democrat announced in November that he will not seek reelection in the 2022 midterms.
There are only four senators who are older than Leahy currently serving – the oldest being Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, who is 88. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is also 88-years-old, but is about three months younger than Feinstein.
Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby is 87 and so is fellow GOP Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma.
Although Leahy is now one of the elder members of Congress, he was only 34-years-old when he was elected to the Senate, making him the youngest senator in Vermont history.
He is also the last of the so-called Watergate babies, which refers to the surge of congressional Democrats elected in 1974 after former President Richard Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment.
During Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, Leahy was the presiding officer over the proceedings in the Senate, which ultimately felt and again acquitted the former president.