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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, with his House counterpart, has circumvented the committee conference system by brokering "grand bargains." (Associated Press)

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada , second left, leaves closed-door negotiations on the payroll tax cut extension and other measures as Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., far right, speaks with Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Friday night, Dec. 16, 2011, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Majority Leader Harry Reid and fellow Democratic senators came in for criticism from House Speaker John A. Boehner, who said, "The Democrats who run Washington have a responsibility to act." (Associated Press)

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., center, accompanied by, from left, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Ill., and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters about extending the payroll tax cut, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

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ASSOCIATED PRESS Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has a compromise plan to extend payroll tax cuts. "We should not have a tax increase on the middle class," Mr. Conrad says. [Mr. Reid's plan] will be paid for in a way that is credible and serious."

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Astronaut Michael Collins (left) receives a Congressional Gold Medal from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, as fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong (fifth from left) receives his medal from House Speaker John Boehner, Ohio Republican, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (fifth from right), Nevada Democrat, presents to astronaut John Glenn, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (second from right), Kentucky Republican, to Buzz Aldrin during a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony at the Capitol building in Washington on Nov. 16, 2011. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

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From left: Astronauts John Glenn and Buzz Aldrin listen to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, during a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony at the Capitol building in Washington on Nov. 16, 2011. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

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ASTRONAUTS_2360

House Speaker John Boehner (second from left), Ohio Republican, reacts emotionally Nov. 16, 2011, while presenting a Congressional Gold Medal to astronaut Neil Armstrong (left) as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (second from right), Nevada Democrat, presents a Congressional Gold Medal to astronaut John Glenn during a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony at the Capitol building in Washington. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/The Washington Times)

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** FILE ** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011, after a Democratic caucus lunch. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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**FILE** Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill on Oct. 5, 2011, to discuss President Obama's jobs bill. (Associated Press)

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**FILE** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, is joined by fellow Democrat Sens. Mary Landrieu (left) of Lousiana and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan on Sept. 26 2011, following the short-term funding bill vote on Capitol Hill. (Associated Press)

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"I don't think there's anything more important for a jobs measure than China trade," says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat. The Senate has adjourned for the rest of the week. (Associated Press)

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Congress Government S_Lea.jpg

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, smiles after talking about the short-term funding bill that the Senate passed on Monday, Sept. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, is joined by fellow Democrats (from left) Sens. Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, Chuck Schumer of New York and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan after Monday's vote on a short-term funding bill. (Associated Press)

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (right), Nevada Democrat, accompanied by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Maryland Democrat, speaks Sept. 23, 2011, during a news conference on Capitol Hill to discuss the continuing resolution to keep the government open. (Associated Press)

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**FILE** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, gestures during a Sept. 22, 2011, news conference on Capitol Hill to discuss FEMA funding and the continuing resolution to fund the government. (Associated Press)

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, joined by Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, Louisiana Democrat, speaks about funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency at the Capitol in Washington on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, said that if a government shutdown occurred because of a dispute over disaster aid, it would be on the shoulders of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (Associated Press)

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, wants to add almost $7 billion in disaster aid to a temporary funding bill crafted to avert a government shutdown when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1. (Associated Press)

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**FILE** In this photo from July 27, 2011, Sen. Patty Murray (right), Washington Democrat, speaks as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, listens at a news conference on Capitol Hill. (Associated Press)