Sen. John Fetterman’s office reported that after reaching a “solution” with the “intelligence community” and Office of Senate Security, the senator’s auditory processing difficulties were accommodated during secret briefings.
According to reports, Fetterman’s Hill staffers employ mobile devices with text-to-speech capabilities to help the senator with his auditory processing issues, according to Fox News.
FOX News Digital asked Fetterman’s office whether he uses these portable devices for voice-to-text closed captioning during confidential briefings because of the damage done by a stroke he had in May 2022.
Joe Calvello, a Spokesperson for Fetterman’s office, told FOX News Digital that “Senator Fetterman requested assistance from the Office of Senate Security for an appropriate accommodation in a classified setting.”
“Exceeded all requirements”
“Senate Security, in coordination with the Intelligence Community, identified a solution that exceeded all requirements for safeguarding classified information,” Calvello said.
FOX News Digital followed up with a question to Fetterman’s office seeking clarification on the agreement reached between Fetterman, the “intelligence community,” and the Office of Senate Security.
When FOX News Digital emailed the Office of Senate Security on Friday afternoon to inquire whether Fetterman’s accommodation allowed the use of a gadget, they did not respond right away.
This year, there have already been a number of secret briefings in Congress held in sensitive compartmented information facilities (SCIFs) or other places with comparable security restrictions.
Electronics not normally allowed
Due to security reasons, electronic devices, including phones and mobile devices, are not permitted in certain places. It’s not known if Fetterman will be able to utilize an electronic gadget as part of his lodging.
When a senator’s health declines, there are several special accommodations that can be made to allow them to continue working in the Senate. These accommodations are designed to ensure that the senator can continue to perform their duties. Some of the most common special accommodations made for senators in this situation include:
Remote voting is sometimes provided for those who are unable to attend senate sessions in person due to health reasons.
Special Access to Committee Hearings if a senator is unable to attend committee hearings in person due to health reasons may be given special access to these hearings through teleconferencing or other means.
Priority Seating, meaning that senators with health concerns may be given priority seating in the Senate chamber to allow them to attend sessions and participate in debates without undue strain.
Senators may also be given Special Scheduling, in some cases, which would allow them to set their own schedules or have more flexible schedules to accommodate their health needs.