From NBC's Doug Adams
In a very moving moment in the Senate, South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson (D) took the floor this afternoon for the first time since his brain hemorrhage last December. He was introduced by his fellow South Dakota Sen. John Thune (R).
Johnson spoke for about five minutes. His speech is still a bit garbled, but very understandable. "It must already be clear to you that my speech is not 100%," he said. "My doctors tell me that it will get there. But my thoughts are clear and my mind is sharp. And I'm here to be a voice for South Dakota in the Senate."
Johnson said his will to fight for the people of South Dakota was strong, and "my ability to think is paramount. So I hope now as I return to my office people focus on my work more quickly than I walk these days." He ended with this: "Today, my work begins anew. I relish the task. It's great to be home. Thank you."
At the end of his speech, Johnson teared up as the Senate gave him a long and emotional standing ovation. He cried again when Majority Leader Harry Reid gave him a tribute immediately afterwards and acknowledged his wife Barbara.