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Senate leader Reid released from hospital

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) gestures while speaking to the media following a Senate cloture vote on budget bill on Capitol
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) gestures while speaking to the media following a Senate cloture vote on budget bill on Capitol

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was released from the hospital after being diagnosed as exhausted and was cleared to return to work, a statement from his office said on Friday.

Reid, 74, had gone to the hospital as a precaution. "The doctors diagnosed him as exhausted, not anything more serious, and have cleared him to go back to work," the statement said.

The Nevada Democrat missed several key Senate votes as lawmakers wrapped up their work before the holiday break.

Senate Assistant Majority Leader Richard Durbin earlier said that he had spoken with Reid.

"He sounds hale and hearty and anxious to get home and then back to work," Durbin said on the Senate floor Friday afternoon.

"We look forward to that happening when he returns to this desk early in the new year," Durbin said just before the chamber halted its work for 2013. Senators return for legislative business in early January.

Reid, who was first elected to the Senate in 1986 and became its leader in 2007, suffered a stroke in 2005 and was injured last year when his motorcade crashed in Las Vegas.

In Reid's absence on Friday, the Senate voted to approve John Koskinen, President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the Internal Revenue Service, and Alejandro Mayorkas, Obama's pick for deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Obama's nominee to head the U.S. Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, also advanced on a key procedural vote. The Senate is expected to officially confirm Yellen, currently the Fed's vice chair, on January 6.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; additional reporting by Thomas Ferraro; Editing by Scott Malone, Bernadette Baum, Paul Simao and Lisa Shumaker)

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