Updated 3:04 p.m. | Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid returned to the Capitol Tuesday to lead the Democratic Caucus lunch, but he won't be making it to the State of the Union address.
Richard J. Durbin, the Senate minority whip, said the Nevada Democrat was given a standing ovation at the lunch by his colleagues. "It feels great to have him home again," Durbin said. "He was right in to the substance of the moment. He knows what's going on on the floor [and] talked about the amendments. The poor man was chomping at the bit at home. He can't watch TV, can't read because of his eye. And so he has been listening to our retreat and conferences, following by telephone what's going on in the cloakroom and on the floor. It was great to have him back."
The Illinois Democrat said he did not know if Reid's bandaged right eye was improving. Reid had said there is a possibility he'll never regain his vision in that eye, but added doctors were hopeful it would return.
After the lunch, Reid headed to the doctor's office for an appointment, Durbin said.
The minority leader has continued to work from his D.C. residence while recovering from the injuries sustained in a New Year's Day exercise accident . He missed the Democratic retreat last week in Baltimore, though an aide said he was able to listen in.
Democrats said that no decisions were made in Reid's absence without him . Reid's political apparatus also sent out a fundraising email over the weekend, making a familiar pitch.
"Every time Washington wants to turn Yucca Mountain into a nuclear waste dump, I make sure it doesn't happen. I've fought for and secured massive investments in clean energy development for Nevada; renewable energy projects that have brought good-paying jobs to our state," the fundraising email said. "And in 2015, you can be sure my work continues."
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