Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who is 87 years old, tweeted Tuesday that he tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday, after saying earlier he would self isolate after a possible exposure.
“I’ve tested positive for coronavirus,” Grassley wrote. “I’ll (be) following my doctors’ orders/CDC guidelines & continue to quarantine. I’m feeling good + will keep up on my work for the ppl of Iowa from home. I appreciate everyone’s well wishes + prayers &look fwd to resuming my normal schedule soon.”
Grassley, as president pro tempore, is the most senior Republican in the chamber, putting him in the presidential line of succession. He is the second-oldest member of the Senate, just a few months younger than Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who is also 87. The oldest member of the House, Republican Rep. Don Young of Alaska, is also 87 and tested positive for Covid-19 last week.
Grassley is the second GOP senator in under a week to announce that he’s isolating after a possible Covid exposure. Republican Sen. Rick Scott of Florida said Saturday that he was isolating as well after coming into “contact with someone who subsequently tested positive for COVID.” A handful of House members have also tested positive in the last week or are isolating.
Grassley’s absence had an immediate impact on Senate business. He missed Tuesday’s votes because of his quarantine, his first missed vote since 1993 when he missed due to floods in his state, according to his office. One of those missed votes Tuesday included attempting to break a filibuster for the confirmation of Judy Shelton, President Donald Trump’s controversial nominee for the Federal Reserve. Republicans failed to get enough votes to advance the nomination, though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could bring the vote up again in the near future.