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Kirk back after surgery; votes no on budget deal

WASHINGTON – Sen. Mark Kirk R-Ill. was back on the Senate floor on Tuesday, following an absence for gallbladder surgery; he was one of 33 Senate Republicans to vote no on advancing the compromise budget deal towards a final vote.

The budget test vote passed the Senate on a 67-33 roll call, with 12 Republicans joining all 55 Senate Democrats to vote yes. All 33 no votes were Republicans.

The final Senate vote is expected later today.

The deal was negotiated between House Budget Chair Rep. Paul Ryan R-Wisc. and Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray D-Wash. It passed on a 332-94 House vote. Rep. Jan Schakowsky D-Ill. was the only no vote from the Illinois delegation.

Kirk underwent surgery Dec. 9 to remove his gallbladder at the Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.

Kirk, who is recovering from a stroke that left him absent from the Senate for almost an entire year, returned to the Senate last January.