Rep. John Murtha dies after surgery complications

Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a longtime fixture on the House subcommittee that oversees Pentagon spending, died after complications from gallbladder surgery, according to his office. He was 77. The Democratic congressman recently underwent scheduled laparoscopic surgery at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, to remove his gallbladder. The procedure was “routine minimally invasive surgery,” but doctors “hit his intestines,” a source close to the late congressman told CNN.Murtha was initially hospitalized in December and had to postpone a hearing with Defense Secretary Robert Gates on the administration’s strategy in Afghanistan. The congressman returned to work after a few days in the hospital and helped oversee final passage of the 2010 defense appropriations bill.Murtha cheap sto power levelinghad a “tough-as-nails reputation” and a “passion for service,” President Obama said in a written statement. He was “a steadfast advocate for the people of Pennsylvania” and “a respected voice on issues of national security,” Obama said.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a longtime ally of Murtha’s, said in a statement that he always put "the troops and their families first."sto powerlevelMurtha was “incredibly effective in his service in the House,” said Wisconsin Rep. David Obey, chairman of the Appropriations Committee. “Every person who serves in the military has lost an advocate and a good friend.”