Fetterman to return to Senate after depression treatment

  • The Pennsylvania Democrat has described his depression as in remission
  • Fetterman: “Depression can absolutely convince you that you actually lost”
  • Upon returning, he’ll chair a hearing on SNAP and protecting farmers

(NewsNation) — When the Senate reconvenes Monday, it’ll mark Sen. John Fetterman’s first day back since he was hospitalized for depression in mid-February.

The Pennsylvania Democrat’s clinical depression was treated for six weeks at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

He was released at the end of March, and has spent a two-week recess at home with his family to make up for lost time, Fetterman said.

Fetterman has described his depression as in remission. He’s spoken publicly about how depression made him feel like he was constantly losing.

In his first interview after his release, Fetterman tearfully described the “downward spiral” of depression. Instead of focusing on politics, he said it was a message for others to get help.

Despite winning the hotly contested Senate seat and cementing control for Democrats after he suffered a stroke on the campaign trail, Fetterman, like many stroke survivors, was affected by depression.

“You may have won, but depression can absolutely convince you that you actually lost,” Fetterman said on CBS Sunday Morning. “And that was the start of a downward spiral.”

Meanwhile, Fetterman highlighted his return during the recess with farmers to talk about their concerns after the toxic train derailment on the border of Ohio and Pennsylvania. He introduced a rails safety bill after the disaster.

He plans to chair a hearing on the U.S. food assistance program and the farm bill this week.

“The news is out! I’m very excited to chair my first subcommittee hearing next week,” he tweeted last Wednesday. “We’ll be talking about protecting SNAP, fighting for PA’s farmers in the Farm Bill, and much more. Hope you’ll tune in.”

The hearing, which focuses on food assistance programs, will be held at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

In recent weeks, multiple senators have been absent. Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is also expected to return to the Capitol on Monday for the first time in more than five weeks after suffering a concussion at a private dinner in early March.

Democrats are debating over some calls for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to resign. The 89-year-old has been absent from the Senate since early March when she was diagnosed with shingles. She hasn’t announced a timeline for her return.


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