Reid ready to present health bill to fellow Dems

The Senate majority leader's taking another small step towards passing reform legislation

Published November 18, 2009 1:30AM (EST)

These aren't exactly happy days for those people who'd like to see healthcare reform passed, and soon. Sure, the House approved its bill more than a week ago now, but the Senate looks like it's ready to hold things up. Just Tuesday, there was talk of yet another blown deadline, and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin wouldn't even make a firm prediction that President Obama would have signed a final bill before next year's State of the Union.

There was one little bright spot at the end of the day, though. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office let his fellow Democrats know that they'll be meeting Wednesday so that he can give them the bill he's been working on for weeks now. That means the first procedural vote on the legislation -- one to open debate -- could come before the Senate recesses for Thanksgiving.

Don't hold your breath waiting for that, though. There's still the matter of a score of the bill from the Congressional Budget Office, which still hasn't been released. Plus, given the pace the Senate has been working at thus far, expecting a vote only a few days after Reid presents his caucus with the bill seems optimistic. But anything could happen.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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Harry Reid Healthcare Reform War Room