This morning, the Senate cleared series of procedural votes on the health care bill, clearing the way to passing reform on Christmas Eve. All 60 members of the Democratic caucus voted in favor of the three motions, suggesting that Republicans are waging a losing battle to delay the passage of reform.
In fact, given the inevitability of passage, a divide appears to be forming between Republicans who want to head home for the holidays, and those who wish to drag out the debate. Following today’s vote, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) suggested that he is ready to leave. McConnell announced that he is “working on an agreement that would give certainty to the way to end this session.” “Hopefully the two of us together can be recommending something that makes sense for both sides in the not too distant future,” he said. Watch it:
Since reaching 60 votes, Democrats have argued that the chamber waive the 30-hours of debate between each cloture vote, offering unanimous consent agreements to expedite the Senate schedule. But at least some Republicans are intent on running out the clock and staying until Christmas. “The flight I have is Christmas morning,” Sen. Robert Corker (R-TN) told reporters, “I don’t plan on changing that.” This morning on Washington Journal, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) also said, “I’m committed to stay here all the way through the final vote.”
Republicans will attend a 1pm caucus lunch today where they’ll decide whether or not to delay the vote until Christmas eve.
The Senate will vote on the final health care legislation shortly after 8am on Thursday, December 24.