Monday, December 21, 2009

Health Care Bill Passes First Hurdle

Senate Bill Passes Procedural Test - In an effort to have a vote by Christmas, the Senate passed a key procedural motion on a controversial and landmark health-care reform bill, moving closer to allowing a vote on the legislation itself. The motion passed on strictly party lines, with all 60 Democratic and independent senators in support, and was seen as a major test for the bill. It moves the bill closer to a final Senate vote, which the Democrats want by Dec. 24, allowing the legislation to move to a conference with the House, which has already passed its own health-care reform bill. A reconciled version would then need to be approved by both houses of Congress.

U.S. Health Bill Passes Crucial Senate Test - By Eric Walsh - Reuters - "In a middle-of-the-night vote in a snowbound U.S. capital, Democrats unanimously backed the first in a series of three procedural motions to cut off debate and move the bill to a final vote by at least Christmas Eve.

'We'll get this passed before Christmas and it will be one of the best Christmas presents this Congress has ever given the American people,' Democratic Senator Tom Harkin said."

The Hardest Call - By David Brooks - The New York Times - "The first reason to support the Senate health care bill is that it would provide insurance to 30 million more Americans."

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