Democratic Leader Reid absent on new Senate’s first day

The Senate opened its new session Tuesday without Democratic Leader Harry Reid.

“Senator Reid is in Washington but on orders from his doctors he will not come into the office so that his injuries can continue to heal,” said a statement from the Nevada senator’s office. “He has been diagnosed with broken bones in his face and three broken ribs, as well as a concussion.” Reid is 75.

That means that Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Richard Durbin will hand the gavel to incoming Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. McConnell assumes that role because Republicans won control of the Senate in November’s elections.

The Reid office statement said that the senator has been working, “holding meetings with fellow Senators and staff. Senator Reid has spoken with President Obama multiple times since his injury and will continue to keep a busy schedule in the coming days.”