U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush is on an official leave from Congress to spend time with his wife as she undergoes major surgery.
The Chicago Democrat's spokeswoman Debra Johnson confirmed in a statement Monday that Rush's leave began Sept. 12. She did not disclose the nature of the surgery, or say how long the congressman will be on leave.
A Sun-Times reporter asked about Rush following his absence last week for two important votes: A GOP measure to reduce food stamp funding and the other a GOP resolution to prevent a government shutdown after Sept. 30 only if ObamaCare is defunded.
"In response to your inquiry the Congressman was granted an official leave of absence effective Sept. 12, 2013 to be with his wife Carolyn as she undergoes major surgery," Johnson said.
"He is grateful for the prayers, support and well wishes extended to him and his family on behalf of Mrs. Rush."
Rush represents Illinois' 1st Congressional District which includes parts of Chicago's South Side and suburbs.
He has undergone serious surgery himself. In 2008 he underwent surgery for a cancerous tumor in his salivary gland and months of chemotherapy treatment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.