KENNEDY’S CANCER IN REMISSION…. A friend told me this afternoon, “God clearly wants health care reform to happen.” It was in reference to the good news from the Hill.

Sen. Edward Kennedy’s brain cancer is in remission and the Massachusetts Democrat is expected back in the Senate after the Memorial Day recess, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Sen. Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that he spoke with Kennedy’s wife and was told the 77-year-old lawmaker will return to work full time during the first week of June.

Kennedy, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee has been mostly absent from the chamber for the past year, recovering in Florida and Massachusetts. He is expected to lead a markup of highly anticipated health reform legislation in his first month back — one of the biggest bills of the year and a signature domestic initiative for President Obama.

Kennedy will reportedly receive a few more treatments before returning to work in June, but Reid told reporters, “He’s doing fine.”

The Politico added, “Reid gave Kennedy an office right next to the Senate chamber at the beginning of this session of Congress so he could be close to the floor to work on his signature initiative — health care reform — and it looks like he’ll have a chance to be fully engaged when that debate heats up this summer.”

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, added that Kennedy will chair the committee markup on the health care bill upon his return.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.