Reid Won't Get Health Care Vote for Christmas

Unless Ben Nelson and Republicans stop playing Scrooge
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2009 7:26 AM CST
Updated Dec 17, 2009 7:49 AM CST
Senator Ben Nelson D-NE speaks before the U.S. Senate voted to begin debate on legislation for a broad healthcare overhaul at Capitol Hill in Washington on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

(Newser) – All Harry Reid wants for Christmas is a health care reform vote, but he’s more likely to end up with coal. Republicans are pulling out every procedural trick in the book to make sure Democrats miss their self-imposed deadline—yesterday, they forced the Senate clerk to read a 767-page amendment aloud, an exercise Democrats finally put a stop to at the 3-hour mark.

Reid, meanwhile, still hasn’t worked out a 60-vote compromise, with Ben Nelson being the main holdout. Bob Casey presented Nelson with alternate language restricting federal financing of abortion yesterday, but Nelson was noncommittal about it; a pro-life group called it “entirely unacceptable.” Desperate Democrats tell Politico they still have a plan to get the vote in, with one scenario putting the final tally at 7pm on Christmas Eve

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