Barton Recovering from Heart Attack

House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Joe Barton (R-Texas) was resting at a Washington, D.C., hospital Friday morning after suffering a heart attack Thursday evening on Capitol Hill.

“Chairman Barton felt ill during a meeting at the Capitol [last] evening. He was treated by the attending physician and then admitted to George Washington University Hospital. He is alert, resting and in stable condition,” Barton press secretary Karen Modlin said in a statement early Friday.

In a later statement, Modlin added, “Congressman Barton is touched and grateful for the many expressions of concern he has received. The congressman is resting comfortably after Thursday evening's heart attack. He is under the expert care of Dr. Jonathan Samuel Reiner at George Washington University Hospital, who has expressed his confidence in a full and complete recovery.”

She continued, “The congressman is currently negotiating his release date with the doctor. If the doctor is more successful than others who negotiate with Joe Barton, we expect him to go home within a few days. He also says that he looks forward not only to getting back to work in a hurry, but to getting on next year's campaign trail, too.”

Barton, 56, is a key player in legislative battles affecting the cable industry, from the effort to terminate analog TV within a few years to the overhaul of telecommunications law.