McConnell says he’s ‘fully recovered’ from health problems

(Bloomberg) – Senate Republican Leader said he had fully recovered from the health problems that left him frozen in public and called on House GOP members to agree on a new speaker to end the paralysis of the US legislature.

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Questions about the health of the 81-year-old McConnell have persisted since he suffered a major setback at a political fundraiser in March and then suddenly stopped speaking at events twice within two months.

“I’ve made a full recovery and I’m fine,” he said in an interview that aired Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation. “I am in good shape, fully recovered and back to work.”

While Democrats control the US Senate, Congress has been in limbo for nearly three weeks over the speaker’s vacancy in the Republican-led House of Representatives, where a group of right-wing dissidents prompted the ouster of Kevin McCarthy. Two other candidates failed to gain sufficient support, and new candidates must be nominated by Sunday afternoon.

“This really sends a bad message to our allies and our enemies around the world,” McConnell said on Fox News Sunday. “And we also have something to work on. We have appropriations bills to pass. We need to figure out the additive.

Read more: Top Republicans Emmer and Johnson Join Wide-Open Speaker Race

McConnell confirmed that he generally agrees with the president on current foreign policy issues. He said he is “basically in the same place” as Biden on U.S. aid to Israel and Ukraine, and that he opposes separating the two issues.

“I just think it’s a mistake,” he said. “I know that in the Senate and perhaps more in the House of Representatives there are Republicans who say that Ukraine is somehow different. I think it’s all connected.”

Last week, Biden said he was asking for nearly $106 billion in emergency funding to help Ukraine and Israel and fortify the U.S.-Mexico border. Meanwhile, the US government is approaching its next funding deadline in November.

McConnell said he and his fellow Senate Republicans would “seriously consider” the supplemental budget request, adding, “I would also recommend some changes.”

(Updates with McConnell’s comments to Fox News, starting in paragraph five.)

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