Grassley continues vote streak despite undergoing surgery

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, was back at the U.S. Senate on Monday, ready to weigh in on judicial nominees and continuing his quarter-century long voting streak.

Normally, it wouldn't be remarkable that Grassley showed up to vote. But the 84-year-old senator underwent what he described as a routine outpatient surgery last Friday, and he raised the prospect he might not make it back to work Monday. He was.

"His procedure went well and was without incident," spokesman Michael Zona said Monday. "Today marks 9,000 days that Sen. Grassley hasn't missed a vote."

The last time the senator missed a vote was in 1993.

Grassley disclosed the planned surgery last week on a conference call with Iowa reporters, calling it in the "category of a hernia fix." He gave no other details.

The operation did end another Grassley tradition. He took to Twitter on Saturday to apologize for missing the Iowa girls high school basketball finals for the first time in 39 years.

The operation did not get in the way of the senator's persistent badgering of the History Channel over his contention the channel's programming doesn't live up to its name.

On Sunday afternoon, again on Twitter, Grassley said, "Hurry hurry hurry. There is history on History Channel."