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Senate’s Durbin Tests Positive for Covid as Democrats Rush to Pass Biden Agenda

  • Democrats need all their members present to pass legislation
  • Illinois senator is latest Democrat to test positive for Covid
Senator Dick Durbin speaks during a news conference following a hearing in Washington, D.C., US, on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. 
Senator Dick Durbin speaks during a news conference following a hearing in Washington, D.C., US, on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

Democratic Senator Dick Durbin tested positive for Covid-19 Thursday, the latest in a string of infections that have highlighted the fragility of the party’s majority at a particularly critical time for President Joe Biden’s resurrected economic agenda. 

The news comes on the heels of holdout Senator Joe Manchin’s announcement of a deal with fellow Democrats to reduce prescription drug prices, expand Obamacare, raise corporate taxes and address climate change. To pass that long-stalled bill using special budget rules, Democrats need all 50 members of their caucus present and voting, with Vice President Kamala Harris on deck to break the anticipated tie vote.