AP source: Fetterman expected back to Senate in April

FILE - Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., leaves an intelligence briefing on the unknown aerial objects, at the Capitol in Washington, Feb. 14, 2023. A person close to Fetterman says he'll return to the Senate in April, two months after the freshman Democrat sought inpatient treatment for clinical depression. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (J. Scott Applewhite, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman will return to the Senate in April, two months after the freshman Democrat sought inpatient treatment for clinical depression, a person close to Fetterman said Wednesday.

The person, who was not authorized to discuss Fetterman’s plans and spoke on condition of anonymity, said Fetterman will return the week of April 17.

It was not immediately clear when Fetterman will leave Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he checked in Feb. 15 after weeks of what aides described as Fetterman being withdrawn and uninterested in eating, discussing work or the usual banter with staff.

Fetterman, 53, was barely a month into his service in Washington and still recovering from the aftereffects of the stroke he suffered last May during his campaign when he went to Walter Reed on the advice of the Capitol physician, Dr. Brian P. Monahan.

Post-stroke depression is common and treatable, doctors say.

Before Wednesday, neither Fetterman nor Senate Democratic leadership had provided a certain timeline for his return.

Fetterman’s return will be welcome news for Democrats who have struggled to find votes for some nominations, in particular, without Fetterman there.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has also been absent for several weeks recovering from a case of the shingles, and the two absences have made some votes difficult in Democrats’ single-vote, 51-49 majority.

Republicans have also dealt with some absences of their own, notably Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been at home recovering from a fall. McConnell could also return as soon as the week of April 17.

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Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington contributed to this report. Follow Marc Levy on Twitter: @timelywriter