Outlook optimistic for Sen. Johnson after surgery

Family, doctors and experts were optimistic for the recovery of Sen. Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota), a day after he underwent emergency brain surgery.

Johnson, 59, fell ill during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. He was taken to a hospital in Washington, D.C., where he had an operation to stop bleeding in his brain, a condition caused by a birth defect, The New York Times reported.

After the surgery, Johnson was placed in critical care, a standard practice, but responded to sound and touch. He will recover in intensive care for several days, The Times said.

Johnson serves on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee. He has used both positions to help tribes in his state and others across Indian Country.

Thanks to Indian voters, he won re-election in 2000 in an extremely close race with Republican John Thune, who defeated former majority leader Tom Daschle (D) in 2004.

With Democrats in slight control of the Senate, Johnson's condition puts their 51-49 majority in the balance. Should he be unable to serve come January, South Dakota's Republican governor and Legislature would be able to name a replacement.

Get the Story:
Democratic Sen. Johnson in Stable Condition After Brain Surgery (The Washington Post 12/15)
Experts Optimistic About Senator's Recovery (The Washington Post 12/15)
Ill Senator Is Called Responsive (The New York Times 12/15)
Birth Defect Led to Stroke in Senator, Doctors Say (The New York Times 12/15)
An Unfamiliar Spotlight for an Unassuming Senator (The New York Times 12/15)
Senator�s condition �like a time bomb� (The Rapid City Journal 12/15)

Relevant Links:
Sen. Tim Johnson - http://johnson.senate.gov

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