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Friday, November 20, 2009

Senate Health Bill Debate Scheduled for Saturday; Vote on Cloture Expected at 8 PM ET

The U.S. Senate will debate the Senate Health Care Bill for around ten hours tomorrow - Saturday, November 21, 2009 - and will then proceed to a vote on cloture at 8:00 PM ET. That procedural vote requires 60 votes in the Senate and is a vote to move forward with more debate to be followed with an up or down vote on the bill which would then only require 51 votes to pass.

So, this procedural vote on cloture tomorrow is essentially the vote that will decide whether the Senate passes a Health Care Bill. Democrats will likely have the 51 votes needed if they can manage to invoke cloture tomorrow. But getting 60 votes won't be nearly as easy. Sen. Joe Lieberman has already said he will not support a bill that has a "Public Option" in it, and Senators Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, and Evan Bayh of Indiana could face tough reelection prospects if they vote to pass a bill that is very unpopular in their more conservative states.

The Senate version of sweeping health legislation would cover five million fewer people than a companion bill passed by the House, but it would cost less, in part because Senate Democratic leaders felt they had to win support from fiscally conservative members of their party.

The Senate is expected to vote Saturday on whether to take up the legislation. The majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, refused to say Thursday whether he had the 60 votes needed to clear that procedural hurdle. . . . MORE
Here is the phone list if you would like to call any or all of these Senators to urge them to vote no.


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