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Ted Kennedy returns to Capitol Hill to vote for stimulus

February 10, 2009 | 11:40 am

Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts returns to the Capitol while battling brain cancer to cast his vote for an $838 billion stimulus bill favored by President Obama

Ted Kennedy had been convalescing in Florida, recovering from the seizures that interrupted the joy of President Obama's inauguration day and alarming those who consider the Massachusetts Democrat the liberal lion of the Senate.

But Friday, he called Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and said, "Kennedy, reporting for duty."

And Monday, still battling the effects of his treatment for brain cancer, he cast his first procedural vote for Obama's $838-billion stimulus package. Smiling, leaning on a cane, with Sen. John Kerry at his side, he walked into the Senate chamber. Today he came for a few minutes to vote for the bill.

As he came down the steps, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) looked up and said: "Here comes my hero."

Below is a statement Kennedy issued on return to Washington on Monday.

-- Johanna Neuman

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Credit: Lawrence Jackson / Associated Press


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, today released the following statement:

“Although we need no other indicator, Friday’s job loss report confirms that our economy remains in a free-fall. Now, more than ever, we need a strong economic recovery package that creates jobs, strengthens the safety net, and invests wisely in the nation’s future. Americans are hurting far too much already. Without this action, the consequences will be even more disastrous for our workers and their families.

“I returned to the Senate today to do all I can to support our President and his plan to get our country back on track. We face a historic crisis and must act quickly, boldly and responsibly to enable our economy to begin growing again in Massachusetts and across America.”