California Democrat tests positive for COVID-19

Sen. Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.) announced on Monday that she tested positive for COVID-19, keeping her away from the Capitol this week. 

“Unfortunately after a pretty busy schedule, I have tested positive for Covid,” Butler posted on social media. “I am following CDC guidelines and am resting up for the work ahead. I look forward to joining my colleagues as soon as I am available.”

This is the second time Butler has tested positive since being appointed to fill the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) seat. The first time came in mid-October, only a week into her tenure in the upper chamber. 

The news means that the chamber will be essentially split evenly between Democrats and Republicans this week, as Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) has also been away from the Capitol in recent weeks due to his trial in New York. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) is plowing ahead with plans to keep reproductive rights front-and-center on the floor with a vote on Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s (D-Ill.) bill to protect access to in vitro fertilization. 

The bill, like last week’s vote on contraceptives, is expected to fail. 

The Senate is also set to vote on multiple nominees to become members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.