In an interview with The Associated Press, Kirk described his return to the Senate as grueling but fulfilling.
The official name of the new bridge would be the “Stan Musial Memorial Bridge” if the bi-partisan effort is successful.
“John Boehner, the speaker of the House, basically threw in the towel. He said ‘we can’t do it here, do it in the Senate'”
The Illinois Republican was greeted at the foot of the Capitol steps by an open-armed Vice President Joe Biden.
The 53-year-old Republican’s return is good news for fellow stroke patients and medical researchers.
The 53-year-old Kirk suffered a stroke last year which limited movement on the left side of his body. He’s undergone rehabilitation for his movement and speech.
Kirk hasn’t been back to the U.S. Senate since suffering a stroke earlier this year.
Republican from Illinois had only been seen in videos while recovering from a stroke suffered last January.
Federal lawmakers from several states along the Mississippi River are pressing to modernize the waterway’s locks-and-dams system, which they say desperately needs repair.
In the greeting, Kirk says he wished he could be there, calling it an exciting moment and “one of the most important elections we’ve ever had.”