Updated 6:35 p.m. | Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is out of the hospital after successful eye surgery and already trolling Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Spokesman Adam Jentleson said the surgery was "successful" but there is no definitive verdict on whether the Nevada Democrat will regain sight in his right eye damaged in a New Year's Day exercise accident.
“Senator Reid was released from the hospital this afternoon and is currently sitting in his living room with Mrs. Reid, cracking jokes and asking about the whip count for this evening’s vote on the Keystone pipeline legislation," Jentleson said in a statement issued just ahead of a vote to limit debate on the pipeline measure, which fell short 53-39. That's because of a combination of Democratic angst over the amendment process and a number of absences. (The bill still seems likely to pass the Senate eventually if the two sides can agree on amendments.)
Reid later issued a statement slamming the Kentucky Republican's handling of amendments:
“I have never seen debate shut down as aggressively as when Senator McConnell refused to allow Democratic senators to debate their own amendments for a single minute – and that’s saying something. Running the Senate is hard, but as we move forward, I hope Senator McConnell will adhere to his pledges of open debate and work with the Democratic senators who are seeking votes on their amendments."
Jentleson described the surgery in the earlier statement:
“The surgery took three and a half hours and was successful in removing the blood clot in his right eye, additional blood from the front of his right eye and repairing the orbital bones in his right brow, temple and cheek. During the surgery, Senator Reid was under full anesthesia. Doctors have said they are optimistic about his prospects for regaining vision in his right eye but there is no definitive verdict yet. Senator Reid will recuperate from his residence this week and continue to monitor the Senate floor closely through meetings and phone calls with his fellow senators, the White House and staff.”
Reid, who is 75, said last week that he's hopeful he will return to the Senate on a regular basis next week.
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