By Bill Parry
U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) was recovering from a mild heart attack he suffered Wednesday that caused him to miss two major votes this week.
The 62-year-old, nine-term Congressman was rushed to George Washington University hospital in Washington, D.C., where doctors successfully placed a stent in his artery, he said.
“I expect to return to work in a few days,” Meeks said following the procedure. “I hope my experience can heighten awareness about heart disease and the importance of knowing the signs of a heart episode. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined. Fortunately, it is also a preventable and treatable disease.”
Meeks missed Wednesday’s vote on the two-year budget deal that lifts the debt ceiling and he was the only House member to miss the speaker vote Thursday.
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), a vice presidential candidate in 2012, took the speaker’s gavel Thursday.
Meeks said he had missed some other recent votes because his 90-year-old father was hospitalized and seriously ill.
“My family is grateful for his strength and grace, and thank all who have offered kind words and prayers,” Meeks said.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr