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Iowa senator Chuck Grassley, 90, hospitalised with infection

At 90, Mr Grassley is currently the oldest senator in US Congress

Rachel Sharp
Wednesday 17 January 2024 13:38 GMT
Related video: Government shutdown looms

Iowa senator Chuck Grassley, 90, has been hospitalised with an infection.

In a statement on Tuesday, the long-time Republican lawmaker’s office said that he is being treated with antibiotic infusions but remains in “good spirits”.

“Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is receiving antibiotic infusions at an area hospital to treat an infection,” the statement said.

“He is in good spirits and will return to work as soon as possible following doctors’ orders.”

No further details about his illness or condition are known at this time.

At 90, Mr Grassley is currently the sole nonagenarian and oldest senator in US Congress, taking the title following Dianne Feinstein’s death last year.

In 2023, the Republican lawmaker – who was long known for keeping fit with daily early morning runs – was briefly hospitalised last year to undergo hip surgery.

Republican senator from Iowa Chuck Grassley at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on 10 January 2024 (EPA)

He is also the longest-serving Republican in US Senate history, having held his seat for more than four decades since first being elected in 1980. He is also the sixth-longest-serving US senator in American history.

His absence from the Senate comes as Congress is hurtling towards Friday’s deadline to pass a stopgap spending bill to avert a government shutdown.

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer and House speaker Mike Johnson have reached a tentative deal – but it still needs to pass formal votes in both chambers.

On Tuesday night, Congress took a key first step to passing the continuing resolution before Friday, with the Senate voting 68-13 to advance it.

Mr Schumer said on Tuesday that he expects the continuing resolution to be wrapped up “no later than Thursday”.

The stopgap bill will extend government funding through to 1 March and 8 March, to allow for more time to pass longer-term funding.

If the continuing resolution fails to pass by Friday, government funding will run out for some federal government agencies – and the government will partially shut down.

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