Berkley's support in context of a Senate run became even more notable on Monday, when Ensign -- her potential opponent in 2012 -- suggested he may oppose the legislation because its cost isn't offset by spending cuts.
"At least make a good effort and we are not making a good effort," he told
the Las Vegas Review-Journal
. "The debt and the deficit are real and it's a real threat to the long-term economy."
For Berkley, the move is even being applauded -- albeit, only on background -- by Republican strategists in the state.
"Joining with some Republicans on the issue most near and dear to Republican and Independent hearts - taxes - is probably a smart move for her even if it makes life more difficult dealing with Nancy Pelosi," said one Nevada Republican consultant.