Sweeping health legislation continued its methodical plod through the Senate, clearing a number of procedural hurdles Tuesday morning and staying on a course that could see it pass on Christmas Eve.
Senate healthcare bill clears next hurdle
The series of three votes, all needed to navigate the legislation past Senate procedure and Republican roadblocks, passed 60-39, with no Republicans voting in favor.
The next set of votes on the reform package are set for Wednesday afternoon, allowing for a vote on the legislation's final passage on Thursday, scheduled for 8 a.m. ET.
With passage of the bill in little doubt, Republicans for the second straight day plan to meet to discuss the legislative schedule for the balance of the year. One option could have them break off their debate on health reform and move more quickly to a must-pass bill that would raise the federal government's debt ceiling.
But many Republicans have made a great show of stalling the reform package and few want to cut the debate short. “The flight that I have is Christmas morning, and I don't plan on changing that reservation,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said.
“I think everybody is prepared to stay,” Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) said, adding with a smile, “Except if some miracle takes place.”
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