Patrick Leahy briefly hospitalized after ‘not feeling well’ at Capitol

The Vermont Democrat was taken to ‘a local hospital for observation’

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., takes a photo on his camera on his way to the Senate floor for a vote in Washington on Nov. 9, 2020. He was hospitalized Jan. 26 after feeling unwell at his Capitol office. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., takes a photo on his camera on his way to the Senate floor for a vote in Washington on Nov. 9, 2020. He was hospitalized Jan. 26 after feeling unwell at his Capitol office. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)
Posted January 26, 2021 at 6:59pm, Updated at 7:45pm

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy was hospitalized for several hours Tuesday evening after he began “not feeling well” in his Capitol office.

Leahy, the Senate president pro tempore, was taken to George Washington University Hospital Tuesday night "for observation,” Leahy spokesman David Carle said just before 6 p.m. The Vermont Democrat got test results back and received a "thorough examination" before being sent home, his spokesman said in a statement at about 9 p.m.

"He looks forward to getting back to work," Carle said.

He had been examined in the Capitol by the attending physician, who recommended he go to the hospital, Carle said.

Leahy has received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with his second dose administered on Jan. 7, according to his office. 

Democratic Whip Richard J. Durbin told CNN on Tuesday night that Leahy’s wife Marcelle, who is a nurse, was with him at the hospital and that he was doing well. She is well-known on Capitol Hill and often seen at Leahy's side.

“She says things are going well,” Durbin said. “So we’ve all got our fingers crossed he’ll be back tomorrow.”

Leahy, 80, is the senior senator from the Green Mountain State and third in the line of succession to the presidency. He is also is the top Democrat on the Appropriations Committee and is a senior member of the Judiciary Committee.

He took over as the president pro tempore from Iowa Republican Charles E. Grassley last week after Democrats took the majority in a 50-50 Senate once Democrat Kamala Harris was sworn in as vice president.

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., takes a photo of House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as they arrive to the West Front of the U.S. Capitol for the Inauguration of Joe Biden in Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

He is also set to preside over the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in the coming weeks, having been sworn in for that role on Tuesday.

Leahy is the most senior senator in the current Congress and has the fifth-longest tenure ever.

Katherine Tully-McManus, Jennifer Shutt and David Lerman contributed to this report.