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Sen. Dianne Feinstein recovering at home after pacemaker surgery

Sarah D. Wire, Tribune Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., had a pacemaker installed Tuesday, just hours after questioning President-elect Donald Trump's attorney general nominee.

Feinstein, 83, is the oldest member of the Senate and the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which held its first day of confirmation hearings on Trump's nominee, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., on Tuesday. Those hearings continued Wednesday.

Feinstein's spokesman, Tom Mentzer, said the senator would watch Wednesday's hearing from home and plans to submit additional questions afterward. He could not say when she can return to Capitol Hill, but said it would be soon.

A pacemaker is a small device normally implanted under the collarbone and connected to the heart by tiny wires to help the heart beat more regularly, according to the American Heart Association.

In a statement, Feinstein's office said the 90-minute, non-emergency procedure at George Washington University Hospital "went smoothly and she will return to a full schedule very soon."

Feinstein made the decision to have the pacemaker installed out of an abundance of caution, the statement says. Mentzer wouldn't provide additional reasons for the procedure or details on the condition it was intended to fix.

There has been broad speculation about whether Feinstein will seek another six-year term when she is up for re-election in 2018, and the senator has been coy about her plans.

Feinstein signaled on Tuesday that she and her Democratic colleagues are not going to go easy on their fellow senator as he seeks to be the next attorney general and will closely scrutinize his record.

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