Kirk Could Be Back in Senate by Fall
Colleagues see an autumn return as a real possibility.
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Highland Park) is expected to return to work in Washington by fall, according to a statement made by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in Politico.
“I’m very optimistic that he’ll be back this fall,” Graham said in the Politico story.
According to the Politico article, Kirk has turned his quarters at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago into a branch office communicating with colleagues, members of his staff and others to make his voice heard. He has been holding video sessions with his Washington aids.
Illinois’s senior senator, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Springfield) did not put a date on Kirk’s return but has little doubt he will return. “I just feel confident he’ll be back, joining me in the Senate,” Durbin said to Politico.
Kirk’s major focus has been toughening sanctions against Iran contained in a bipartisan Senate bill to prevent that nation from developing nuclear weapons. The current version of the law applies penalties for the first time to any company involved with Iranian energy or mining ventures anywhere in the world.
The Illinois junior senator wants more. He has been working with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, an influential lobbying group, to toughen the reporting requirements and toughen the sanctions.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has given Kirk time to build support for the changes despite the fact President Barack Obama wants the bill passed next month.