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Cochran returns to Washington, but his health a concern heading into crucial votes

Sen. Thad Cochran speaks to reporters in Ocean Springs in 2014, shortly before he defeated state Sen. Chris McDaniel in the GOP runoff.
Sen. Thad Cochran speaks to reporters in Ocean Springs in 2014, shortly before he defeated state Sen. Chris McDaniel in the GOP runoff. amccoy@sunherald.com File

Sen. Thad Cochran has returned to Washington, a day after creating a stir by extending his time off to deal with “urological issues.”

“I am pleased to be back in Washington where I look forward to continuing work on the 2018 appropriations bills and to taking part in the debate on the budget and tax cuts,” Cochran said in an email from his office. “I appreciate all the support and kind words I received while at home.”

Cochran continues to be treated for urological issues and remains under medical supervision, which could affect his work schedule, the email said.

Monday, his chief of staff said Cochran had developed another urinary tract infection and was postponing his return, although he did not specify how long he would stay in Mississippi to deal with his health issues.

“Mrs. Cochran informed me late Saturday night that Senator Cochran has developed another urinary tract infection. After a day of monitoring his condition, and on the advice of his physicians and other health care professionals, Senator Cochran has postponed his return to Washington,” Chief of Staff Brad White wrote. “He will continue his recuperation at home in Mississippi. The Senator has expressed his intention to return to the Senate when his health permits, and to fulfill his commitment and duties to the people of his state.”

Cochran’s absence meant the Republicans could only afford two no votes in their party on the budget or tax plan, with at least three GOP senators expressing skepticism about those plans.

Paul Hampton: 228-284-7296, @JPaulHampton

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