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Hastert Hospitalized With Kidney Stones

Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) was taken to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., this morning to “undergo a routine procedure to remove kidney stones,” according to a statement released by his office.

Ron Bonjean, a Hastert spokesman, said the Speaker is expected to be released from the hospital Thursday morning and then will return to Illinois on Friday. Hastert will take up his normal schedule next week, according to Bonjean.

Hastert’s hospitalization means that he will not be able to accompany an official Congressional delegation to Rome to attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II. Hastert was also unable to preside over this morning’s joint session of Congress to receive Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko.

The Speaker was replaced in the chair by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas).

Hastert has suffered from kidney stones at least once before, and was hospitalized for a similar procedure in 2001.

— Ben Pershing

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