John Fetterman Clearly Struggles Through Questions At Senate Hearing
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 10: Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) heads to the Senate Chamber for a vote at the U.S. Capitol on May 10, 2023 in Washington, DC. Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders met with President Joe Biden at the White House yesterday to continue to negotiate how to raise the debt limit. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) clearly struggled to deliver his own line of questioning during Tuesday’s Senate Banking Committee hearing.

Fetterman, who just returned to the Senate after a lengthy hospitalization for clinical depression and anxiety, has also been dealing with the lasting impact of a near-fatal stroke during his Senate campaign that left him with auditory processing issues.


“Is it staggering — isn’t it staggering responsibility — that the head of a bank could literally, could literally crash our economy. It’s astonishing,” Fetterman began. “That’s like if you have — I mean like — and they also realize that — that now they have — it’s in — they guaranteed a guaranteed way to be saved by … [unintelligible] … how?”

Fetterman continued to struggle as he appeared to call for stricter regulations on banks as a general rule, adding, “Isn’t it appropriate that the — those kinds of — this kind of control should be stricter … to prevent this kind of thing from going? Or should we go on and just keep bailing and sailing whoever banks regardless of how … their … their conduct is?”

He then appeared to go off the track, saying that he would give the former CEO of Silicon Valley Bank an “example” — and going on to talk about the fact that Republicans want to attach work requirements to SNAP benefits.


After suggesting that it was wrong to call for work requirements for hungry families, Fetterman pivoted and asked, “Shouldn’t you have a working requirement after we sail your bank — billions of your bank?”

In order to assist the Pennsylvania senator as he continues to recover from the stroke, he has been given a tablet so that he can use closed captioning to read the responses to his questions during committee hearings. When the full Senate is in session, according to a report from TIME Magazine, “the Sergeant at Arms (SAA) has installed a permanent live caption display monitor at Fetterman’s desk in the Senate chamber.”

Instead of using Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Senate will use professional broadcast captioners to provide Fetterman’s captions — a move designed to ensure greater accuracy.

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