January 22, 2015 / 6:58 PM / in 3 years

UPDATE 1-U.S. Senate Democratic leader Reid expects full recovery for eye

(Adds details on surgery, Reid comments on policies)

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said on Thursday he expected a full recovery from an eye injury and will aggressively pursue both re-election and an agenda to aid the middle class Americans.

Speaking to reporters for the first time in the Capitol since suffering the injury on New Year’s Day while exercising at his Nevada home, Reid said he was looking forward to surgery on Monday.

“I met with one of the doctors yesterday and he felt extremely confident I would be fine,” Reid said.

The Nevada Democrat said the surgery would move some broken facial bones that were pushed close to his right eye and he expected to be back at work by Feb. 2.

Reid, wearing a white bandage over the eye and sporting dark purple bruises on the right side of his face, said his 2016 re-election plans were “off and running.”

He also railed against House Republicans for attaching provisions to a Department of Homeland Security funding bill that aim to block President Barack Obama’s immigration initiatives. Reid also chided Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for starting the Republican-controlled Senate off with a bill to approve the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline

“I believe this Congress will be determined whether it’s a success or a failure on what happens to the middle class,” Reid said. “Right now what they’ve spent their time on is foreign oil coming across America to be shipped other places. That does not help the middle class.”

Reid said he still does not support granting Obama “fast-track” negotiating authority for Asia-Pacific and European free trade deals.

“Until it’s shown to me that trade agreements help the middle class, I’m not going to be jumping on the bandwagon,” Reid said. (Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Susan Heavey and Bill Trott)

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