WASHINGTON (Dec. 14, 2006) — Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., was in critical but stable condition today after suffering a brain aneurysm a day earlier, according to reports.
Sen. Johnson, who will be 60 on Dec. 28, suffers from a congenital condition that allows cranial veins and arteries to grow abnormally large and become tangled, doctors who performed emergency surgery told media. If Sen. Johnson is rendered unable to serve by his illness, Senate Democrats probably would lose the one-vote majority they won in the November election, since South Dakota's Republican governor, Mike Rounds, would likely appoint a Republican to serve out Sen. Johnson's term.
If this happens, however, it probably would not make a serious change in the Senate's agenda or actions in the 110th Congress, according to Paul Fiore, director of government and business affairs for the Tire Industry Association.
“Historically, when the majority is this close, it's very difficult to get any one-sided legislation out of the Senate,” Mr. Fiore told Tire Business.
Both he and a spokesman for the Rubber Manufacturers Association said they hoped for Sen. Johnson's complete recovery.