Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) was hospitalized after suffering a stroke last week but is expected to make a full recovery, his office announced Tuesday.

Luján’s chief of staff Carlos Sanchez said in a statement that the senator began experiencing dizziness and fatigue on Thursday and checked himself into a local hospital. He was then transferred to UNM Hospital in Albuquerque, N.M.

“Senator Luján was found to have suffered a stroke in the cerebellum, affecting his balance. As part of his treatment plan, he subsequently underwent decompressive surgery to ease swelling,” said Sanchez.


Luján, 49, is still at the hospital but is resting comfortably and is expected to make a full recovery, his top aide said.

“Senator Luján looks forward to getting back to work for the people of New Mexico. At this time, he and his family would appreciate their privacy, and ask for your continued prayers and well wishes,” Sanchez said.

News of Luján’s stroke appeared to catch some of his Democratic colleagues by surprise.

When asked about Luján’s hospitalization, Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinSenate group plows forward with election law changes after Trump remarksJudiciary chair says ‘several’ Republicans could be open to Biden Supreme Court pickBiden to meet with Durbin, Grassley on SCOTUS vacancyMORE (Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said, “Oh my god. I didn’t know that.” Durbin said he was not sure how Luján’s health emergency would affect the Senate schedule.

With Luján’s hospitalization the Senate is once again evenly split after Republican Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyJuan Williams: Biden is right GOP is on wrong side of history Romney tests positive for coronavirusBuild Back Smaller: What’s the best path forward for Democrats?MORE (Utah) announced last week that he had tested positive with a breakthrough case of COVID-19.

Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerOn The Money How Breyer bailing blocks Build Back Better Schumer puts pressure on lawmakers as shutdown deadline nears40 House Democrats push for ‘swift’ action to lower drug prices MORE (D-N.Y.) has lined up about 20 nominees in the coming weeks. With both Luján and Romney absent from the Senate, Democrats still have a technical majority with Vice President Harris’s tie-breaking vote.

However, if Romney returns to the Senate next week, then Republican will have a slight majority and Democrats will need GOP support in order to move the nominations along.

Jordain Carney contributed.