Republican Utah U.S. Congressman and House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz informed the public on April 26 that he will take a Congressional leave of absence to have surgery on his foot due to an old injury that has worsened, according to Politico.com. He plans to return within three to four weeks.
Representative Chaffetz utilized Instagram to post an X-ray of his foot, explaining that the injury from 12 years ago required surgery immediately or he could risk a serious infection.
Chaffetz stunned Congress, as well as Utahns, when he announced just the week before that he would not be seeking reelection in 2018. He has also stated that he may not finish his current term in office, prompting all kinds of speculation and rumors.
Unfortunately, his departure is ill-timed for President Trump and Republicans in the House of Representatives. There are important critical votes on a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown, tax reform measures, and possibly, a vote on legislation to repeal and replace Obama’s Affordable Care Act. These votes are assumed to be closely contested and even one missing vote could be the deciding factor.
Rep. Chaffetz wrote on Instagram,
"I’m sorry to miss the important work we are doing in Washington. This is not an opportune time to be away but medical emergencies are never convenient. I appreciate my constituent’s patience and understanding as I take time to recover."
As he told Politico, he planned to fly back to Utah for the surgery and recovery. He plans to resume his House chairmanship sometime after the May congressional recess.