Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., pictured during a July 20 press conference at the U.S. Capitol, said Thursday has tested positive for COVID-19. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
July 28 (UPI) -- With a recent deal on President Joe Biden's climate agenda hanging in the balance in the Senate, the man in charge of counting Democratic votes, Sen. Dick Durbin, announced Thursday that he tested positive for COVID-19.
Durbin's absence, along with that of a handful of other Democratic senators, has complicated the vote on the measure, which also includes Democratic priorities on taxes and health and a scaled-down climate provision wanted by moderate Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
"This morning, I tested positive for COVID-19," Durbin, D-Ill., said in a message on his website. "Thankfully, I am fully vaccinated and double boosted and only experiencing minor symptoms. Consistent with CDC guidelines, I will quarantine and follow advice from my doctor while I continue to work remotely."
Manchin, who himself was bouncing back from a positive COVID-19 test, said on Wednesday he reached a deal with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer on a domestic spending bill including energy programs and tax policy changes that had been stalled.
In an evenly split Senate, the Democrats needs all of their members to vote on the budget package, which would send it to Vice President Kamala Harris for a tie-breaking vote. The bill then would go back to the House for a final vote, where the Democrats hold a slim advantage.
Last week, Democratic senators Tina Smith of Minnesota and Tom Carper of Delaware both said they had tested positive for the coronavirus. President Joe Biden has been cleared to resume in-person work after testing positive last week.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said last week he tested positive for COVID-19 after traveling to the White House, Maine and Florida.