Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) was hospitalized and underwent heart surgery this week after experiencing “chest pain,” his office announced Wednesday.
The 50-year-old congressman missed a debate in the House Judiciary Committee over impeachment articles Wednesday night, according to Breitbart, but Lieu’s office said that he’ll likely return to work next week.
The road to recovery
The Democratic lawmaker first went to the hospital on Monday complaining of chest pain, his chief of staff, Marc Cevasco, said in a statement Wednesday. Lieu received a stent the next day for a blocked artery, according to The Epoch Times.
“An electrocardiogram, ultrasound, and two blood tests confirmed there was no heart attack and no heart damage,” Cevasco said of Lieu. “A CT scan showed partial blockage of an artery that was likely the cause of the symptoms.”
The lawmaker was expected to spend Wednesday at the hospital, his office said, and hopes to return to work next week. But his absence means that Lieu will miss an expected vote on impeachment articles in the Judiciary Committee, of which he is a member.
“He is now recovering and will likely be discharged from the hospital later today,” Cevasco wrote Wednesday, adding that the congressman plans to “watch a lot of TV as he recovers.”
Statement on Congressman Lieu’s absence this week pic.twitter.com/rKJRtQi22H
— Rep. Ted Lieu (@RepTedLieu) December 11, 2019
The road to impeachment
Lieu is known as an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and a strong supporter of his impeachment. His surgery came during an eventful week for Democrats on Capitol Hill, who finally took the plunge Tuesday after about three years of threatening to impeach Donald Trump.
Democrat leaders formally unveiled Tuesday two articles against the president: one for abuse of power and another for obstruction of justice. Members of the Judiciary Committee sparred over them in a televised hearing Wednesday night that split sharply along partisan lines.
For their part, Democrats solemnly warned that democracy as we know it would come to an end if Trump were not impeached, according to Fox News, whereas Republicans said that their colleagues are just afraid that they can’t beat Trump at the polls come 2020. Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) seemed to allude to that interpretation, saying that “we cannot rely on an election to solve our problems when the president threatens the very integrity of that election.”
Fox reported that Democrats continued “marking up” the articles in a fiery hearing Thursday, and a vote that is expected to follow will pave the path for a full House vote next week. Democrats will likely have enough votes to proceed despite Lieu’s absence, since they have the majority on the committee.
But whether the Dems will be able to succeed in getting Trump removed by the Senate… Well, that’s a different story.