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December 21, 2009

Health Care Bill Clears Key Vote

"Senate Democrats won a milestone victory early Monday in the health-care debate, approving a procedural motion to move the reform legislation to final passage later this week, and without a single vote to spare," the Washington Post reports.

"The 60-40 tally, taken shortly after 1 a.m., followed 12 hours of acrimonious debate and required senators to trek to the Capitol in the aftermath of a snowstorm."

Roll Call notes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) "goal of clearing the bill before Christmas and Republican hopes of derailing passage have combined to force three cloture votes, including late-night and early-morning roll calls, because of Senate rules mandating 30 hours of sequential debate time prior to each cloture vote. At present, the third cloture vote, on the underlying bill, will likely occur Wednesday afternoon, with the vote on final passage set for Christmas Eve night."

Marc Ambinder: "Let it be said, at 1:15 a.m. ET, that Democratic Party discipline held, that Republicans failed to kill health care reform, that the President now has a strong chance to sign into law an historic, expensive and far-reaching health care reform legislation before his first official State of the Union address in a month from now. The bruising year-long battle has left the Democratic party divided, has expended virtually all of the president's political capital, and ithe legislation's fidelity to the goals sketched by candidate Obama are questionable.  "


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