Reidís trusted allies have been giving high-profile speeches on fiscal issues in the past few months.
Though Schumer serves on Finance, he has largely been caught up as the partyís top messenger. His speech struck some aides as an attempt to move away from the role of partisan attack dog at a time when such rhetoric may be less useful in sensitive bipartisan talks. Schumerís pitch in October went squarely against Durbinís gang of six framework, and he argued that the construct they were operating under would not result in a net increase in tax revenue.
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.