WASHINGTON (CN) – Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a Democrat from New Jersey, has curable stomach cancer, says a report issued from his office Friday. Months of treatment are expected to take him away from the Senate floor, posing another obstacle for Democrats opposed by the minority at every turn.
Since early this month, Republicans gained their 41st member, Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, bestowing the minority party with the power to filibuster legislation.
Lautenberg’s partial absence could be detrimental to Democrats, who have an agenda to pass sweeping health and cap-and-trade legislation, which was stalled even when they held a super-majority, with 60 votes.
Lautenberg, 86, has B-Cell Lymphoma of the stomach and will receive six to eight chemotherapy treatments spaced three weeks apart, according to a statement released by his office. Added up, the therapy is expected to take between four and five months.
“And in between treatments, the Senator is expected to be back at work in the Senate,” Lautenberg’s doctor, James Holland said in the same release. “We expect a full and complete recovery for Senator Lautenberg.”
Lautenberg will be treated at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, according to the New York Times.