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.
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.