Fetterman will return to Senate the week of April 17

Ali Vitali
U.S. Senator John Fetterman leaves a classified briefing for U.S. Senators about the latest unknown objects shot down by the U.S. military, on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 14, 2023. 
Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters

Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pa., will return to the Senate during the week of April 17 after about two months of treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center for depression, his office tells NBC News.

Fetterman's chief of staff, Adam Jentleson, and Communications Director Joe Calvello have been visiting him at Walter Reed daily this week, Calvello told NBC, saying "he's in the zone" and "excited to get back to the Senate." The Pennsylvania senator has been working from Walter Reed since checking in for treatment in mid-February, with staff citing challenges after a stroke.

The announcement comes as Fetterman introduces a new bill Wednesday focused on bolstering railway safety regulations in the aftermath of the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

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The legislation is the first bill that Fetterman is leading since being elected to the Senate — he's previously introduced legislation alongside fellow Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey and Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, who also join Fetterman in backing his new bill. Fetterman has also worked in bipartisan tandem with Senator JD Vance, R-Ohio, on legislation aimed at preventing future rail disasters.

"Communities like Darlington Township and East Palestine are too often forgotten and overlooked by leaders in Washington and executives at big companies like Norfolk Southern who only care about making their millions," Fetterman said in a statement about the bill, reported first by NBC News.

The new legislation includes measures to ensure that railroads provide warning equipment to railroad watchmen and mandates mechanics inspect rail cars to attest to their safety, among other proposals.