Sen. Murkowski is in, and the amendment issue is being handled deftly by Sen. Reid, according to Greg Sargent.

Adding to the urgency, Reid announced this morning that he will bring the Defense Authorization Bill to the floor for a vote this evening. Proponents of repeal worry that this could scuttle repeal, because Republicans have insisted they will not support it if the debate over the tax cuts is not resolved, meaning that repeal could be defeated tonight.

But the aide close to the talks defended Reid’s decision, arguing that it’s just as risky to postpone the vote on repeal. “There’s concern that members of her caucus will be out the door as soon as we pass everything Republicans want,” the aide says.

Talks are continuing with Collins, so it’s not over yet.

However, when I read posts that have Sen. Joe Lieberman taking the lead it makes me nervous. …though truth is he’s a lot more of a Republican than he is a Democrat, so maybe they’d listen to him.

UPDATE: Susan Collins speaks, gets what she wants to debate the bill. It all begins tomorrow. Republicans will likely start working on her in 3… 2…

“The majority leader’s allotment of time for to debate those amendments was extremely short, so I have suggested doubling the amount of time, assuring that there would be votes, and making sure that the Republicans get to pick our own amendments as opposed to the Majority Leader.”

“If he does that I will do all that I can to help him proceed to the bill. But if he does not do that, then I will not,” she added.

Late this evening, per Collins’ request, Reid delayed a test vote he’d planned to hold tonight.

“Everyone on the Republican side wants to see the tax package completed first,” Collins said.