Sen. Mark Kirk is unable to be in Washington as he recovers from the stroke he suffered in January, but he apparently is working behind the scenes to shape an Iran sanctions bill.
Politico reports Kirk is leaning on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel group, as well as fellow Republican senators to help him.
New details of his recovery and his increasing contact with Capitol Hill also were revealed. Kirk reportedly has begun video conferences with his Washington staff and is very much engaged in discussion of foreign policy.
Kirk, who has undergone three brain surgeries since his stroke, is using a cane to walk, and it is now revealed he is not expected to resume his duties full-time until fall.
“I’m very optimistic that he’ll be back this fall,” South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham told Politico.
Kirk has turned to Graham and others to stand in at fundraisers he had promised to attend.
Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown said he's had 20-minute phone calls with Kirk and reports to Politico, “I’m surprised, actually. I thought it would be difficult to understand him, but he’s sharp as a tack, and we cracked some jokes.”
Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin also said Kirk “told me he’s spending a lot of time on treadmills” to improve his ability to get around.
Meantime, as Congress finalizes a bill to impose new sanctions on Iran, Kirk has enlisted AIPAC and, through telephone conversations with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to make changes on the bill.
Kirk is reported to want the toughest sanctions possible.