By Associated Press - Monday, May 1, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz is returning to the Capitol, weeks earlier than expected following surgery last week in Utah.

Chaffetz had said he would be away from the Capitol for up to four weeks following surgery to remove screws and pins from a foot he shattered 12 years ago.

A spokeswoman said Monday that Chaffetz will return to Washington this week. She offered no explanation for his change of heart.

The decision by the five-term lawmaker gives Republican leaders another yes vote as they seek to approve a contentious bill to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The 50-year-old Chaffetz chairs the House Oversight Committee. He surprised political observers in Washington and Utah last month when he abruptly announced he will not seek re-election in 2018.

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