Republican Senator Suffers 'Serious' Hand Injury, May Need Amputation

Republican Senator Suffers 'Serious' Hand Injury, May Need Amputation
Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) speaks to reporters as he departs from the Senate Chambers on Oct. 6, 2021. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Jack Phillips

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) on Wednesday announced that he missed a vote on the gun control bill because he suffered a hand injury and may require an amputation.

Cramer clarified later on Twitter that the amputation risk was to one of his fingers—not the entire hand.

"While working in the yard over the weekend, I sustained a serious injury to my right hand, which required immediate surgery," Cramer previously said in a statement. "I continue to remain in North Dakota close to medical care, as there is high risk of infection and the possible need for amputation. I am alert and in good spirits."

Speaking to local media outlets, the senator said the tip of his finger may require amputation after a large rock rolled onto his fingers, ripping off the tip of his pinkie finger. The part was stitched back during an emergency room visit. He didn't disclose how a large rock rolled onto his fingers.

He added that "although I am missing this week of votes and hearings, I am monitoring Senate business closely and in constant contact with my colleagues and staff ... I plan to return to Washington, D.C., after the Independence Day state work period and expect to be doling out a lot of left-handed fist bumps."

While Cramer didn't vote, the gun control measure advanced in a 64–34 vote. The bill includes a controversial provision that would provide funding to red flag laws as well as ending straw purchasing and enhancing background checks for buyers under age 21.

In a recent interview, Cramer suggested that he wouldn't vote for the bill due to the red flag law. The senator noted that the upper chamber likely wouldn't pass a federal red-flag law and said it wouldn't make sense to provide funding to states that have such laws, which have been criticized by some Republicans as unconstitutional.

“We aren’t going to pass a federal red flag law, and we shouldn’t. So why would we incentivize states to do something that we think is a bad idea? There is some confusion about what it actually does and that is what they are trying to clarify," he said.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who is soon retiring from the Senate, also did not vote Wednesday, but he released a statement on Tuesday that supported the gun control measure.