WASHINGTON — Sen. Edward Kennedy, battling brain cancer, is in Florida and will miss the final Senate vote on the economic stimulus package.
The Massachusetts Democrat is continuing his treatment and physical rehabilitation, and Democrats don't need his vote for final passage, spokeswoman Melissa Wagoner said Friday.
Kennedy plans to travel between Florida and Washington for future Senate business "until the weather gets warmer here," Wagoner said.
Kennedy had returned to the Senate on Monday for an earlier vote on the economic stimulus plan. He voted for the bill on a test tally. It was passed 61-36, one more vote than the 60 required to overcome objections.
It was Kennedy's first visit to the Capitol since he suffered a seizure on the day of Obama's inauguration last month. He was using a cane and appeared to have lost a bit of weight, but he seemed energetic and happy to be around his colleagues again.
"He's doing very well and he's on top of things," said Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., who is a longtime Kennedy friend.
The 76-year-old lawmaker was stricken at a legislative luncheon in the Capitol following Obama's swearing-in, leaving many of his colleagues and friends shaken and worried. He spent the night in the hospital after doctors diagnosed him with "simple fatigue" following the frigid outdoor inauguration ceremony and warm indoor reception.
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