John Fetterman Bumbles His Way Through Opening Statement At First Hearing Since Senate Return

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John Fetterman, a Democratic Pennsylvania senator, had difficulty reading his opening remarks at his first hearing after returning from medical leave.

Fetterman presided over a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing on Tuesday. The Subcommittee on Food, Nutrition, Speciality Crops, Organics and Research was in charge. He struggled to read his prepared opening statement for the hearing.

“SNAP is the most effective program to combat hunger and poverty across the nation.” As Mayor of Braddock, Lieutenant Governor and now as a Senator I’ve heard Pennsylvanians support SNAP in my time serving.

“Hunger is not a Republican issue or Democrat issue. It is a problem that affects us all. We must stop playing politics with Americans’ food access. Americans like Jer… from Northeastern Pennsylvania tell me that their victim was skimming. This means someone stole money, and he relied on his SNAP-EBT. This is not the first time I have heard about Mr. [inaudible] from Pennsylvania, and I am told that he will not be the last. In this farm bill, I will modernize snap-to-work for recipients in the 21st Century. I am looking forward to hearing from you as your witness for this [inaudible] regarding your assistance with the Farm Bill. “I will now turn the microphone over to Senator Braun to hear any remarks he may have,” Fetterman said.

Fetterman received treatment for depression at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on February 16. He was released on March 31. On Monday, he returned to the Capitol.

After a stroke that left him unable to function, he developed depression in March 2022. This was just before the Democratic Primary for the Pennsylvania Senate. After his stroke, Fetterman took a long break from his general election campaign in 2022 against Republican opponent Dr. Oz.

In October 2022, just weeks before the election, Fetterman had trouble with his speech. He defeated Oz in November, and started his first term as president in January.