Senator Joe Manchin and Lisa Murkowski tweeted on Monday morning that they had tested positive for Covid-19, jeopardizing Democrats’ plans to pass their proposed social spending bill before the Senate leaves for August recess.
Mr Manchin said in the tweet that he tested positive, but was experiencing mild symptoms since he was fully vaccinated and had received a booster vaccine.
“I will isolate and follow CDC guidelines as I continue to work remotely to serve West Virginians”, he said.
This morning I tested positive for COVID-19. I am fully vaccinated and boosted and am experiencing mild symptoms. I will isolate and follow CDC guidelines as I continue to work remotely to serve West Virginians.
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) July 25, 2022
Similarly, Ms Murkowski tweeted that she tested positive after she experienced fly-like symptoms.
After experiencing flu like symptoms I recently tested positive for COVID-19. I will be following guidance and advice from doctors and will be quarantining at home in Alaska while continuing my work remotely.
— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) July 25, 2022
“I will be following guidance and advice from doctors and will be quarantining at home in Alaska while continuing my work remotely.”
Mr Manchin and Ms Murkowski’s illnesses are just the latest after Democratic Senators Tom Carper of Delaware and Tina Smith of Minnesota also tested positive for Covid-19.
Currently, the Senate is planning to vote of a major piece of legislation to support the manufacturing of semiconductors in the United States to compete with China. Ms Murkowski is one of a handful of Republicans who supports same-sex marriage at a time when Democrats are hoping to codify it.
The West Virginia Democrat’s illness also comes as Mr Schumer has attempted to negotiate with Mr Manchin to pass a pared-down social spending bill. The two had been neogtiating a bill that would have focused on combating climate change, capping prescription drug prices, extending subsidies for the Affordable Care Act and rolling back some of the tax cuts former president Donald Trump signed into law.
The much smaller legislation is meant to be a compromise after Mr Manchin announced his opposition to Build Back Better, Democrats plan to pass the legislation through the process called budget reconciliation, wherein they can sidestep a filibuster as long as legislation is related to the budget. But as Democrats have only 50 Senate seats, they need every Democrat to support legislation passed through reconciliation, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote.
But Mr Manchin said he wanted to put a pause on the climate and taxation aspects of the legislation after the Consumer Price Index report for June showed that inflation jumped by 9.1 per cent in 12 months.
Mr Manchin’s illness coincides with the Senate entering its final two weeks before Congress heads back home for its August recess.
Took some calls this morning with man’s best co-worker. pic.twitter.com/dmkE5WhuvX
— President Biden (@POTUS) July 25, 2022
President Joe Biden posted a picture of himself working, alongside his dog Commander, as doctors said he was continuing to use Paxlovid for his Covid infection, but that his symptoms were almost completely resolved.