By ALAN FRAM
WASHINGTON (AP) - Top Republicans coping with a razor-thin majority as they try pushing a partisan agenda through the Senate are running smack into another complication - the sheer age and health issues of some senators.
On Monday, the office of the ailing Sen. Thad Cochran announced it was the Mississippi Republican's "intention to return to the Senate when his health permits."
That underscored the challenges of navigating a chamber that's the second oldest ever.
Cochran's absence narrows the GOP's margin for error on a pivotal budget vote this week. Meanwhile, the Appropriations Committee that he chairs hasn't churned out any spending bills for next year since he was last in Washington in mid-September.
Cochran is one of three senators who have missed time this year in Washington because of health issues.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- Cochran's illness shows risks to GOP leaders of aging Senate
- Sen. Thad Cochran grappling with illness
- Sen. Cochran returns to Washington after illness
- Phil Bryant not interested in Thad Cochran's senate seat
- U.S. Senator Thad Cochran to resign April 1
- REPORT: Cochran could resign soon from U.S. Senate
- McDaniel to run for Cochran's U.S. Senate seat, not Wicker's
- Former Senator Thad Cochran honored at the University of Mississippi
- Bannon savages GOP leaders in fight for Alabama Senate seat
- REPORT: Bryant down to two choices to replace Cochran in U.S. Senate