A Democratic leader misspoke on Tuesday about the health of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who is suffering from brain cancer.
The Hill newspaper reported that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Kennedy's cancer is in remission and that the Massachusetts Democrat will return to the Senate after the Memorial Day recess.
Reid told reporters that Kennedy is "doing fine" and that, as far as he knew, the cancer was in remission.
Reid's office, however, said the senator misspoke, and released the following statement: "Senator Reid will leave the diagnosing to doctors. But he does look forward to the prospect of Senator Kennedy's return to the Senate as soon as he is able."
Kennedy, 77, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in May 2008. The senior Democrat, who is a major champion of health care reform, has spent much of the past year recovering in Florida and Massachusetts.
Once he returns, Kennedy is expected to take up his gavel as chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. According to the Hill, Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), a friend of Kennedy's, and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), a member of the HELP Committee, said they expect Kennedy to take up work on health care next month.
Kennedy has worked behind the scenes on health care legislation while Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has led the debate over health care reform in the Senate Finance Committee.