Sen. Patrick Leahy hospitalized as a ‘precaution’ after ‘not feeling well’

Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont was hospitalized Thursday evening “as a precaution” after “not feeling well,” his office said in a statement.

Leahy, 82, had been at his residence in McLean, Virginia, before going to a Washington area hospital where, “At the recommendation of his doctors, he is expected to remain overnight for observation,” the statement said.

The Vermont Democrat is the third longest serving senator in US history. As Senate president pro tempore, he is currently third in the line of presidential succession, following the vice president and speaker of the House.

Leahy’s hospitalization underscores Democrats’ delicate majority in the 50-50 Senate. It is unclear how long Leahy will be out, but the chamber is not voting until after next month’s midterm election.

Leahy has been hospitalized a number of times in recent years, including in June when he underwent surgery to repair a broken hip after he fell in his Virginia home, and in January 2021, when he was briefly hospitalized because of “muscle spasms.”

The longest serving US senator still in office, Leahy announced last year that he would not seek reelection in 2022.

“While I will continue to serve Vermont, Marcelle and I have reached a conclusion: it is time to put down the gavel,” Leahy said at the time, referring to his wife. “It is time to pass the torch to the next Vermonter, who’ll carry on this work for our great state. It’s time to come home.”

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