Health Bill Clears Last Hurdle Before Vote

Party line roll call ends filibuster, sets stage for tomorrow
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 23, 2009 4:14 PM CST
Health Bill Clears Last Hurdle Before Vote
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Chris Dodd.   (AP Photo)

Exultant Senate Democrats pushed President Obama's landmark health care overhaul past a final procedural hurdle today, setting up a final vote at 7am tomorrow to pass the legislation. Democrats voted 60-39 to end a GOP filibuster, with all 58 Democrats and two independents hanging together against unanimous Republican opposition. Tomorrow's vote got moved up because of bad weather in the Midwest.

"It is now only hours until this Senate will pass meaningful health care reform," said Max Baucus. "It has been a long time coming," he said. "I thank God that I have lived to see this day." Final passage requires just a simple majority, so Democrats should triumph easily. The Senate bill will still have to be reconciled with a House-passed version before President Obama can sign a final package. (More Senate stories.)

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