It appears Republicans on Capitol Hill are feeling some new legislative clout now that Republican Scott Brown has officially taken the Massachusetts Senate seat formerly held by the late Democrat Edward Kennedy. Senate Democratic leaders want to move jobs-focused legislation to the floor next week but House Republicans want help in moving House-passed estate tax legislation.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., says he would like to see an initial vote on a jobs package on Feb. 8 — likely a procedural vote — and Senate passage before members leave town for the Presidents Day recess on Feb. 12. But that depends on Republican cooperation, since Democrats have lost their filibuster-proof 60 votes.
Reid's top lieutenant, Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., challenged Republicans to agree to move the initial package quickly. Durbin called this a good faith offering on the Democratic side. Whether or not Republicans allow that to happen remains unclear.