U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe is recovering from emergency heart surgery in Tulsa this week.
Inhofe, 79, had quadruple bypass surgery after a routine doctor’s visit last week when his physician discovered a serious heart problem, Inhofe said. The surgery was a success, he noted.
“The discovery shocked me as I had no visible symptoms that something was wrong,” said Inhofe, who has announced his 2014 re-election bid for a fourth term. “Today, I am feeling great and am fully engaged with my work here in Oklahoma.”
His condition may prevent him from voting on upcoming Continuing Resolution legislation to end the government shutdown, he said.
“I’Il encourage my colleagues in Washington to work with vigilance to reopen the government with a bill that represents Oklahomans and all of Americans,” Inhofe said.
Inhofe said his physicians agree that he will be able to return to Congress soon with renewed strength to continue his fight to protect the freedoms of Oklahomans.
Donelle Harder, spokesperson for Inhofe’s office, said two of Inhofe’s arteries were 100 percent obstructed, a second was at 90 percent blocked, and a fourth artery had 75 percent blockage.
A report that Inhofe may be away from the office for two weeks may be premature, Harder said.
“We’re not exactly sure of the exact timeline,” she said. “He’s already engaged with work he can do in Oklahoma. It will be a few weeks before he can get on a plane to return to Washington. The doctors have not given us a clear timeline quite yet.”
Oklahomans elected Inhofe to the Senate in 1994. He served for eight years in the House of Representatives.
Inhofe is a ranking minority member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works as well as the Committee on Armed Services.
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