(Bloomberg) -- North Dakota Republican Senator Kevin Cramer suffered a serious yard work injury that could result in a finger being amputated and will miss votes this week, the senator announced on Wednesday.

The 61-year-old lawmaker required immediate surgery and there is a high risk of infection, according to a statement from his office. Because of this, the senator will miss voting in the Senate this week. That means his views will not officially be recorded on a landmark gun safety bill, the first in three decades on track to become law. 

The injury highlights the fragile balance in the Senate, where the Republican and Democratic party caucuses are evenly divided with 50 votes a piece. Democrats retain control of the floor agenda and committee gavels by virtue of Vice President Kamala Harris’s tie-breaking vote. 

For many weeks this year, Democrats have lacked a functional majority: New Mexico Senator Ben Ray Lujan and Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen both were out recovering from strokes and numerous members had to quarantine due to Covid-19 infections. 

Despite the gravity of the injury, the genial North Dakota senator struck an upbeat note in his press release. 

“I plan to return to Washington after the Independence Day state work period and expect to be doling out a lot of left-handed fist bumps,” said Cramer.

 

 

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