Nelson: Like Mass. voters, I'm fed up with Washington

Centrist Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said Wednesday that he -- like voters in Massachusetts who elected Republican Scott Brown -- is frustrated with Washington. 

Nelson responded to Brown's Tuesday victory over Democrat Martha Coakley as Democratic leaders were scrambling to develop an alternative plan to pass healthcare legislation after Brown is seated as the 41st senator, breaking the Democratic super-majority.

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"Clearly, the vote showed that people are frustrated with Washington...and I am too," Nelson said in a statement. "That frustration will likely register across the board for all incumbents. The overriding message from yesterday is that people are upset because Washington is dysfunctional and not working together for them."

Democrats on Capitol Hill have attempted to downplay Brown's surprising victory as a referendum on the Democrats' agenda. Republicans, meanwhile, have said that Brown's win shows that voters are tired of the Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration. 

Democratic leaders have also been drafting proposals to pass their healthcare reform package, which passed with the support of no Republican senators and one Republican House member, without another vote in the Senate that requires the support of 60 senators.

But Nelson took the election results as a call to action for both parties, saying that Congress needs to work in a more bipartisan manner in response to Brown's election.

“The vote should end the situation where one side thinks it doesn’t need the other, and the other thinks there’s no need to work together for the good of the nation," Nelson said.

Nelson did not say where he stood on the healthcare reform bill, only that bipartisanship is needed to "fix a national health care system that 70 percent of Nebraskans want fixed."

The second-term senator who was the final holdout vote for the healthcare bill last month said recently that his vote on the final healthcare package is not guaranteed. But that was before Brown's election caused Democrats to consider alternative means of passing the bill.