“I think a good rule of thumb this year on the president’s list, is: see if it can pass his own Senate. It’s his party,” Rep. Mick Mulvaney, a conservative from South Carolina, told RCP. “He said what he wanted to do in his [inaugural] speech, so I assume he’s willing to lead toward those stated goals; he can he get his party in the Senate to pass that.”

A leading GOP Senate strategist said he is “a little surprised that the Republicans in the House have gotten that smart.”

He went on: “It’s a good move for them. Harry Reid is a hell of a lot better opponent the Barack Obama.”