Rep. José E. Serrano, one of the House’s top Democratic appropriators, is recovering from a hospital stay due to a fall but plans to return to Capitol Hill “in the very near future.”
“Several months ago, I disclosed that I am battling Parkinson’s Disease. Recently, I suffered a related health complication that resulted in a fall,” the New York Democrat said in a statement. “I required some time in the hospital to recover, and have had to continue that recovery process at home in the Bronx. I continue to work closely with my staff, and I look forward to returning to Washington in the very near future.”
His last floor vote was on Nov. 12.
Serrano, who chairs the House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee, announced in March that he plans to retire at the end of next year, due to his Parkinson’s diagnosis.
“Over the last few months I’ve come to the realization that Parkinson’s will eventually take a toll, and that I cannot predict its rate of advancement,” he said at the time. “Because of this uncertainty, I do not intend to seek reelection in 2020. I do intend to serve the remainder of my term in the 116th Congress.”
Since then, he has continued overseeing subcommittee hearings, drafted his panel’s $66.4 billion spending bill for fiscal 2020 and managed the bill during floor debate.
Negotiations on reaching agreement between the House and Senate versions of that funding bill have entered the final stage after Appropriations leaders reached an agreement less than two weeks ago on how to divide up more than $1.37 trillion in spending between the dozen annual funding bills.
The panel Serrano chairs is in charge of making funding decisions for the Department of Justice, Commerce Department, decennial census, NASA and the National Science Foundation.