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Fetterman expected to return to Senate next month after depression treatment

The Democratic senator from Pennsylvania checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last month

Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.), center, is stopped by reporters as he walks to the floor for a vote at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 26. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)
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Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) will return to the Senate during the week of April 17 after being hospitalized for clinical depression, according to a person familiar with the situation who asked for anonymity to speak candidly about the senator’s condition.

Fetterman, 53, checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in February after he was evaluated by the attending physician of Congress, Brian P. Monahan, who suggested inpatient care for depression that had become “severe in recent weeks,” Fetterman’s chief of staff, Adam Jentleson, said in a statement at the time.

His expected return, first reported by Politico, will be welcome news for Senate Democrats, who have struggled to advance some of President Biden’s judicial nominees during Fetterman’s absence. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who is a member of the Judiciary Committee, has also been absent for weeks following a bout of shingles. The Senate begins a two-week recess on Monday.

Fetterman’s depression followed a near-fatal stroke he suffered in May, just days before he overwhelmingly won the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania’s Senate race. That stroke left him with an auditory processing disorder that inhibited his ability to hear, especially when there is competing background noise. In mid-August, Fetterman resumed public campaign events, where he spoke openly about his health setback and recovery.

Earlier in February, Fetterman was hospitalized at George Washington University Hospital for lightheadedness during a retreat for Democratic senators, his spokesman said then. His doctors ruled out that he had suffered a second stroke.

Colby Itkowitz contributed to this report.