But Senators and aides acknowledge that there are not enough votes within the Democratic caucus to pass that proposal as is. Republicans have responded somewhat favorably to the proposal to eliminate anonymous holds on legislation and nominations, but they have ardently objected changing the rules by a simple majority vote.
Harkin said the Senate has voted three times to validate that only a simple majority is needed if changes are made on the first legislative day. However, he acknowledged that the chamber has never actually followed through with the option because bipartisan agreements have always been reached.
Reid is holding open the Senate’s first legislative day for the entirety of the two-week recess in order to preserve his options. Harkin indicated the first legislative day could last well into the week of Jan. 24.
Former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, holds his hand over his heart during the singing of the national anthem as he waits to take the stage for his town hall campaign rally with Sen. John McCain at the Pinkerton Academy in Derry, N.H., on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.