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Senator Ben Ray Luján expected to be back at work in 4 to 6 weeks after suffering stroke

Barring any unforeseen complications, New Mexico Senator Ben Ray Luján is expected to return to Washington and be back at work in four to six weeks after suffering a stroke late last week, a senior aide to the senator tells CBS News.

The senator learned of his prognosis and likely timetable to be able for his return to full Senate duties during meetings with his doctors on Wednesday, the aide said.

How Ben Ray Luján's absence could affect the Senate's agenda

Plans to return within six weeks would seem to line up with evolving plans to confirm President Biden's choice to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Mr. Biden has said he is planning to announce his decision by late February, after which the Senate Judiciary Committee would have to hold confirmation hearings before referring the nominee to the full Senate. 

But in the meantime, Democrats lack a working majority in the evenly divided 50-50 Senate, meaning passing legislation and even noncontroversial nominees won't be able to happen without at least some Republican support.

Luján, 49, underwent decompressive surgery on Tuesday to ease swelling after he was found to have suffered a stroke in his cerebellum that affected his balance last Thursday. 

His office announced he had checked himself into Christus St. Vincent Regional Hospital in Santa Fe after he felt dizzy and fatigued Thursday morning, and then was transferred to UNM Hospital in Albuquerque for further evaluation. 

Luján has been in the Senate one year and served in the House of Representatives before that. 

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