WASHINGTON — Al Franken is the Senate’s dead man walking, still doing his day job despite his soon-to-be-gone status.

The two-term Minnesota lawmaker told a somber Senate last Thursday he would resign amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and in the face of vanishing support from fellow Democrats. Franken was back at work this week, casting votes in the Senate, participating in a committee hearing and attending a senator-only luncheon with Democrats.

Franken listened intently Tuesday as an expert panel talked about the high cost of prescription drugs. He put his hand on his forehead and grimaced as speakers decried the price of life-saving medicines. Given a chance to ask questions, Franken spoke about his work with Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana to allow the government to negotiate lower drug prices under Medicare.

“My colleagues will have to carry forward this work after I’m gone,” Franken said, his sole reference to his impending departure. “I urge them to do so in an expedient and bipartisan manner. Patients, especially those in Minnesota, need relief.”

As Franken left the hearing, he bumped into a group of high school students who were waiting to take a photo with him. The group from Herndon, Virginia, High School had taken a photo with Franken a few weeks earlier, but one of the students was absent, so their teacher brought them back.

Students joked that they were stalking Franken, who patiently shook their hands and posed for a group photo.

“He was very nice and respectful to us,” said senior Reed Golomb, 17.

Franken has not said exactly when he will leave the Senate, although his departure seems certain. Even so, some Democrats have begun to have second thoughts about forcing him out so quickly, especially as allegations of sexual misconduct against President Donald Trump remain unresolved and Republican Roy Moore seeks a Senate seat from Alabama despite molestation accusations.

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