A congressional aide says Democratic New Jersey congressman Donald M. Payne is being described by a family member as gravely ill.

The aide says a colleague of Payne reached out to the Payne family on Friday and was told of the congressman's condition. The aide was not authorized to speak publicly about the congressman's health and requested anonymity.

Payne announced last month that he had colon cancer. A staff member in Payne's office said only that the congressman returned to New Jersey on Friday. Payne had been undergoing treatment in Washington for cancer.

The 77-year-old congressman is a 12-term Democrat active in foreign affairs policy. He is a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.


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