Rep. Bobby Rush takes leave of absence

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) has taken a leave of absence from Congress, his congressional office confirmed to The Hill Monday.

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It’s unclear when he will return to Washington, a staffer said. 

Rush will be with his wife, Carolyn, who is dealing with major surgery, according to his Communications Director Debra Johnson. 

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“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 wrote in an email to The Hill

“He is grateful for the prayers, support and well wishes extended to him and his family on behalf of Mrs. Rush.”

Lynn Sweet, the Chicago Sun-Times's Washington bureau chief, first reported the news Monday. 

Rush had missed recent votes on the food stamp reform bill and the GOP’s effort to defund ObamaCare in the government spending bill. 

Rush made headlines last year following the death of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin by wearing a hoodie in the House. He is best known for having defeated President Obama in his first run for Congress in 2000. Obama lost a primary challenge to Rush in his Chicago House district.