Democrats Back in Charge in Iowa Senate

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Democratic Sen. Tom Courtney is back on the Iowa Senate floor after undergoing heart bypass surgery.

Courtney was given a standing ovation by his colleagues on Monday. The 65-year-old lawmaker from Burlington had his third heart surgery on Feb. 28. His exact return date to the Senate had been unclear.

With Courtney the Democrats have the 26-24 edge over Republicans that's needed to approve bills on party-line votes.

Courtney says he is "overjoyed" to be back to work. He says he is still recovering and will be maintaining a light schedule, though he plans to be present for all votes.

Courtney was first elected in 2002 and is in his 11th year in office.

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