U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg missed work, on doctors orders, for the entire month of March. On Friday he released a statement saying he will not return to Washington on Monday as the Senate convenes after a two week recess, according to reports in The Star Ledger and Politico.
“I regret that I will not be returning to Washington next week as I continue treatment for, and recuperate from, muscle weakness and fatigue. My physician continues to advise me to work from home and not travel at this time,” Lautenberg said in a statement issued by his office.
Lautenberg added: “I am disappointed I will not be present for the opening of the debate on gun legislation in the Senate. It is an issue I am deeply passionate about, and my victories over the gun lobby are among my proudest accomplishments. I am, however, gratified that my legislation to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines will be one of the key amendments offered to this bill.”
Lautenberg will also miss the confirmation of U.S. Magistrate Patty Shwartz to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, a nomination that was initially blocked by New Jersey’s junior senator, Bob Menendez.
“I have worked hard since Judge Shwartz’s nomination by President Obama toward her confirmation, and I am confident that she will be confirmed by a strong majority of my colleagues,” Lautenberg said.
Lautenberg, 89, announced in February that he would not seek reelection in 2014.
Should the senate seat become vacant on or before August 27, New Jersey’s election law requires that a successor be elected in the November general election. If a vacancy occurs after August 27, the next election for the seat would be on schedule in November of 2014, unless the governor calls for a special election sooner. Governor Christie could appoint a temporary senator or leave the seat vacant.Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, 2014 U.S. Senate race, Chris Christie, Cory Booker, Frank Lautenberg, Frank Pallone | Tags: Chris Christie, Cory Booker, Frank Lautenberg, Geraldo Rivera, Governor Tom Kean, Harrison Williams, Joe Kyrillos, Nicholas Brady, Tom Kean JR | 10 Comments »