— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) November 17, 2020
Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the oldest Republican and President Pro Tempore of the Senate, has tested positive for Covid-19.
According to the Washington Post:
The Senator was at the Capitol on Monday and spoke on the Senate floor, taking off his mask to do so.
Grassley’s illness follows news late last week that fellow octogenarian Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska,) the dean of the House as the longest consecutive serving members, was diagnosed with coronavirus.
The current partisan breakdown in the Senate is 53 Republicans and 47 who align with the Democrats. However, newly elected Senator from Arizona, Mark Kelly, seems likely to take office in December once his special election is certified, meaning it will be 48 Democrats with maybe only 51 Republicans able to attend votes, if Grassley becomes ill.
The Republican Governor of Iowa can fill vacancies by appointment.
Grassley’s Senate term is up in 2022. He is chairman of the Finance Committee and has a seat on the Judiciary, Agriculture, Budget and Joint Taxation Committees. All of these may be short a vote.
Republican Senator Rick Scott has also been in isolation due to exposure to the virus. There is no report on any test results for Scott.