The Senate was closer to a final vote on the compromise Medicare reform bill, after supporters garnered enough votes to pass two procedural hurdles. In the first, senators voted 70-29 to end debate on the bill, killing a filibuster attempt led by Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) Subsequently, a second procedural matter, related to the budget, passed 61-39. Over the weekend, the House approved the bill 220-215, largely along party lines. The bill, which would add a prescription drug benefit to Medicare, is expected to pass the Senate and be signed by President Bush. -- by Tony Fong
Procedural votes over, Medicare bill nears passage
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