Top Senate Democrat Patrick Leahy Hospitalized; Office Calls It A ‘Precaution’
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire and chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, right, speaks with Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, during a hearing in Washington, D.C., US, on Wednesday, May 25, 2022. The hearing is titled "A Review of the President's Fiscal Year 2023 Funding Request for the Federal Bureau of Investigation."
Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the third longest-serving U.S. senator of all time, was hospitalized Thursday near Washington D.C. after feeling unwell, his office said.

Leahy, 82, was expected to stay overnight as a “precaution,” his office said Thursday evening. “At the recommendation of his doctors, he is expected to remain overnight for observation,” the statement said.

As Senate president pro tempore, Leahy is third in the line of presidential succession, after Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). He was first elected in 1975, but has been facing health problems in recent years.

Leahy, who presided over the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump, was briefly hospitalized during the trial for what his office described as a precaution.

Over the summer, Leahy broke his hip after falling at his Vermont home and required hip surgery. His office attributed the fall to his poor depth perception, which is a result of him having been born blind in one eye. “He has taken some remarkable dingers over the years, but this one finally caught up with him,” his office said.

Leahy is not seeking re-election, having announced in 2021 that he would retire from the Senate in 2023.

His retirement announcement opened up a senate seat that has stayed Democrat since the Vietnam War, although Democrat Peter Welch was up 35 points over the Republican candidate during the last RealClearPolitics poll, which was taken in April. Democratic-socialist Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is the other senator from Vermont.

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