WASHINGTON -- Rep. Gregory Meeks, who represents part of Nassau County and Queens, said Thursday that he had a mild heart attack a day earlier, causing him to miss the House speaker vote.

Meeks, 62, a nine-term Democrat from St. Albans, said he expects to return to work in a few days after doctors placed a stent in a blocked artery.

After an inquiry by Newsday, Meeks issued a statement to explain why he missed recent major votes, including one on Wednesday on a two-year budget deal that lifts the debt ceiling and another Thursday that elected Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) speaker.

"I have missed a few votes recently because I have been balancing my obligations as a member of Congress with my obligations to my family. My 90-year-old father is hospitalized and seriously ill," the statement said.

"Yesterday I also had a medical issue to confront when I was rushed to the hospital after experiencing chest pain," he said.

"In a short time my doctors informed me that I had a blocked artery which caused a mild heart attack. The doctors successfully placed a stent in my artery to clear it. I expect to return to work in a few days."

Meeks was admitted to George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C., where he is recovering, his office said.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

On Tuesday he watched the Mets lose to the Kansas City Royals with Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), according to his Twitter feed.

On Wednesday, he attended a roundtable with SIFMA, which says it is the voice of the U.S. securities industry, according to his tweet.