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November 18, 2009

Senate Health Care Bill Is So Awesome And Popular That Harry Reid Almost Has Enough Votes To Debate It Update/Clarification Below

Not to pass the thing mind you, just to start debate.

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid scrambled Tuesday to lock down votes behind a health-care bill that he may present as early as Wednesday.

The Nevada Democrat would not confirm that he had received commitments from all 60 members of his caucus to overcome GOP procedural objections and bring the bill to the Senate floor, saying only, "I feel cautiously optimistic that we can do that. I think we're together as a caucus."

The leader was more outspoken in describing his measure, boasting to reporters: "Of all the bills we've seen, it'll be the best: saves more money, is more protective of Medicare, is a bill that's good for the American people."

But in case Democratic senators are too stupid to realize that and are hesitant to even allow a debate on the bill, the Obama administration is launching a lobbying campaign. Again, just to allow the debate to begin.

In what appears to be the administration making a a last-minute push to curry votes for health care, Vice President Joe Biden is up there lobbying as is former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, a former centrist U.S. Senator has also been spotted in the hallways, but he says he's just up there to see friends and that he's not really lobbying for health care.

...The presence of the triumverate of administration friends and officials who have lots of friends on the Hill and know the ways of the Senate, is likely a sign that Reid and the Democrats still clearly don't quite have everything they need to let the bill proceed.

Did I mention all of this is just to get the 60 member Democratic Caucus on board with starting debate?

One problem is there's still no CBO score, with all the ludicrous assumptions that go along with it.

They could still use the non partisan CMS study which says the House bill is a fraud that will cut care to seniors and won't lower costs overall.

Yeah Harry, let's talk about that one for awhile.

UPDATE/Clarification: There seems to be some confusion on what this vote is. It's only to start debate. If it passes this hurdle, there will be speeches, amdendments, maybe even a full reading of the bill.

It will then take another vote and 60 Senators voting yes, to move on to passage (which would take 50 votes+Biden).

When we think of needing 60 votes we usually are talking bout Cloture which is the vote to end debate. The start of a debate is almost always automatic. The fact that they are having trouble getting enough votes to start is hugely good news for opponents.

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posted by DrewM. at 01:05 PM

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