Reid says he's asked Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie to appoint Inouye's successor "with due haste." Reid says he wants to ensure Hawaii is fully represented "in the pivotal decisions" the Senate will be making.
Inouye died of respiratory complications last week, leaving Democrats down one seat as the Senate prepares for the possibility of voting on a measure that would avoid a "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts.
Hawaii Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is the favorite for the post. Inouye, a fellow Democrat, endorsed Hanabusa in a letter he sent to Abercrombie on the day he died.