2nd Senate Vote Nudges Health Care Bill Forward
Just one procedural vote to go before the Christmas Eve finale
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 22, 2009 10:18 AM CST
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. pauses during a health care news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 21, 2009.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Democratic leaders nudged their health care compromise a step closer to pre-Christmas passage this morning, easily clearing their second critical hurdle. The Senate voted 60-39 to shut off debate on Majority Leader Harry Reid's version of the bill, with no Republicans in favor.

The final 60-vote hurdle, which would end debate on the bill itself, is expected tomorrow afternoon, starting a 30-hour countdown to a night-before-Christmas vote on the bill, which needs only a simple majority to pass. Still, the final outcome remains unpredictable because the Senate measure must be reconciled with a starkly different—and more liberal—bill already passed by the House of Representatives. That is likely the most difficult step before Obama can sign the legislation into law.