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Wyden to undergo surgery for prostate cancer, will miss votes

From Carrie Dann and Ken Strickland
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has been diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer, his office said Thursday.

"Thanks to routine screening, this was diagnosed very early and I expect a full and speedy recovery," Wyden said in a statement.

But the 61-year-old lawmaker will miss votes tomorrow and possibly next week due to surgery on December 20, possibly affecting Democrats' ability to reach the 60 vote threshold necessary to move forward on a handful of remaining legislative priorities.

“I scheduled the surgery for the Monday before Christmas anticipating that the Senate would have recessed by that time and that there would be no disruption to my work in Oregon or Washington,” he said. “However, it now appears that I will be missing votes tomorrow and possibly next week while I prepare and undergo this procedure.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid again vowed Thursday to hold votes on the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the START treaty, and the DREAM Act. Republicans are vowing to block those initiatives in the waning days of the lame duck session until work on a bill to fund the government next year is completed.

Wyden is expected to be back to work full-time after the New Year.