Negotiations aimed at averting the nuclear options are under way again this morning, this time in the office of Arizona Sen. John McCain. As Bill Frist was holding a hard line on the Senate floor, a handful of other Republicans, including McCain, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and Mike DeWine, were trying again to reach a "six-by-six" compromise with Democrats Mark Pryor, Robert Byrd, Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman and Mary Landrieu.
The sticking points: Which judges would Democrats allow to get floor votes, and what will keep Frist from trying to go nuclear at some later date?
Senators didn't say much as they filed one by one into McCain's office, but they seemed mostly upbeat. Virginia Sen. John Warner, who has expressed concerns that the nuclear option would destroy Senate tradition, smiled for the cameras and flashed a thumbs up at reporters as he walked into McCain's conference room. "Wish us luck," he said.
Meanwhile, on the floor, Harry Reid was beseeching "responsible Republicans" to reach a compromise with Democrats, stressing, as he has previously, that it only takes six Republicans to kill the nuclear option.