McConnell says he doesn't expect GOP to vote in lockstep after jobs vote

Republican leadership doesn't expect its members to move in "lockstep" on all issues, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stressed Tuesday.

McConnell said that he was happy to have Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in the Senate, despite Brown having crossed party lines with four other Republicans in a procedural vote to support Democrats' $15 billion jobs bill.

"The Republican Party represents all parts of the country, different points of view," McConnell said during a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday. "We don't expect our members to be in lock-step on every single issue, and we're happy to have him here."

The jobs bill, crafted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), was able to clear a hurdle ending debate in a 62-30 vote on Monday night. One Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), voted against the package.

Reid expressed gratitude for the Republican votes this afternoon.

"We're so happy that we had some Republicans join us," he said.

McConnell said that Brown's presence, which gives Republicans enough votea to sustain a filibuster, has made a "huge" difference on the GOP's standing in the Senate.

"I think it's made a huge, positive difference for us and for the whole legislative agenda," the minority leader said.