Kirk Climbs 237 Steps Returning to Senate
Highland Park senator comes back to work just under a year after suffering a stroke.
Assisted by Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kirk walked slowly using a cane completing the ascent 10 minutes before the Vice President was scheduled to gavel the Senate into session for the 113th Congress.
Biden was not worried about the timing. “You’ve got all day, pal,” the vice president said to Kirk at the bottom of the stairs. Biden was the first person to greet Kirk when he appeared at the bottom of the steps, giving him a hug.
Next to hug his returning colleague at the bottom of the stairs was Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Springfield). Shortly after that, Kirk received a handshake from outgoing Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) before climbing the steps. Dold’s term was set to expire in a few minutes.
As Kirk started his walk, he was greeted with cheers and applause from lawmakers lining the steps including the Illinois Congressional delegation. Prominent in front of the line were Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston) and Rep. elect Brad Schneider (D-Deerfield).
Schneider, who beat Dold in a close election Nov. 6, will be sworn in later today.