Reid gets 60 for healthcare vote

The Senate bill passes one procedural hurdle; there are more to come


Alex Koppelman
December 21, 2009 7:37PM (UTC)

After Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., announced Saturday that he'd support the Senate healthcare bill, the outcome wasn't in doubt. But in a vote held very early Monday morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid proved that he does indeed have the 60 votes needed to get the legislation passed -- for now, at least.

Monday morning's cloture vote was a procedural one that allowed Reid to make certain changes to the bill. It wasn't the big cloture vote, or even the last of the procedural votes that will be held -- there are several more to come, with the final roll call scheduled for Christmas Eve. But the outcome of those is now not in doubt.

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There is one big test remaining, of course -- after the Senate passes its version of the bill, it will have to iron out its differences with the House. That could mean more wrangling.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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