"The discussions continued late yesterday in back-to-back-to-back meetings with 10-15 senators interested in the compromise. Two meetings in John Warner's offices in Russell sandwiched around a meeting in the Capitol that featured both Senate Leaders. Staff were booted before it got interesting."
"Profile in Confusion: Hagel tells GOPers he sides with the Union Leader over the Senate but he remains mum publicly."
"Profile in Courage: John Warner joins the group and hosts the discussions in his office."
"Best Battle: the GOP positioning for who can be the 7th signer of the agreement -- nobody wants that sixth slot."
"Best Line: Ben Nelson's 'Lining up Senators is like herding cats, only cats are more organized that Senators."
"Hardest Worker: Mark Pryor really wants to get this deal done and he is working diligently to do it."
"Best Development: More Senators declaring themselves interested in a compromise."
"Inside notes (sic): when finally all the Senators got together in the same room, major revisions to every section of the previously leaked MOU. Still working the Rubik's Cube on the combination of nominations, Dems still OK with the 'extraordinary circumstances' agreement on future nominations, and Repubs trying to find a 'release' from Nuke Option pledge if the Dems balk on a future nominee. By many accounts, the Dems are solid, but the Repubs are 2 short. No names to paper as of this morning."
Leader Frist embarks on the road to rules change this morning, when he is expected to introduce the nomination of Priscilla Owen to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit at 9:30 am ET.
ABC News' Linda Douglass reports that the Senate will consider her nomination either with the Democrats agreeing by unanimous consent to proceed to the nomination, or there will be a motion to proceed to a vote. That motion is not debatable, and if it's made, it will pass with majority support of Republicans. This is not the test vote that triggers the rules change option; it just launches the Senate debate.
On Thursday or Friday, Republicans are expected to file a motion for cloture, to cut off debate. The Senate will vote on cloture on Monday or Tuesday. That would be the test vote. It is unlikely that there will be the 60 votes needed to cut off debate, Douglass reports, but it is likely that there will be more than 50 votes. That will prove that Owen is supported by a majority of Senators.
After that vote, Frist would move to change the Senate rules to ban filibusters against federal appeals court and Supreme Court judges.
The Coalition for a Fair and Independent Judiciary sponsors a news conference to condemn the option that would change the Senate rules and end judicial filibusters at 10:15 am ET. Speakers include Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Patty Murray (D-WA); Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Lois Capps (D-CA); Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women's Law Center; and Eva Paterson, president of the Equal Justice Society.
House Democrats meet for a closed party caucus at 9:00 am ET. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Caucus chairman Robert Menendez, and Rep. James Clyburn will talk about House Republicans' "abuse of power" at a press availability afterward.