“I hope between now and January cooler heads ... will prevail, and we will put ourselves back on a path to finding bipartisan solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems,” Johanns said.
Blunt said his goal is to find enough Democratic skeptics of the process that supporters call the “constitutional” option to cause both sides to step back and engage in negotiations.
“That’s why we elect a leader and they elect a leader,” he said, signaling that he would like to see Reid work out a deal with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
“There is growing concern on their part,” Blunt said of Democrats, adding that some up for re-election may not want to defend the “nuclear option.” Several Democrats have already expressed reservations about a simple majority plan, including Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin of Michigan.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.