Senator's Illness Could Cause Power Shift

By: AP
By: AP

The Senate's top Democrat says he's visited colleague Tim Johnson in the hospital, and that the South Dakota senator "really looks good."

Harry Reid spoke to reporters amid speculation about whether Johnson will be able to continue to serve in the Senate. He's in critical condition, recovering from emergency brain surgery. Doctors say the bleeding in the brain was caused by a congenital condition.

If Johnson has to give up his seat, South Dakota's Republican governor would name a replacement. A Republican instead of a Democrat in that seat would put control of the Senate back in Republican hands.

Reid, though, dismissed such talk. When it comes to control of the Senate, he says, "There isn't a thing that's changed."

He says, "We're all praying for a full recovery," and added, "We're confident that will be the case."

But he wouldn't say any more about Johnson's medical condition, declining even to answer a question on whether Johnson is conscious.

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