Democrats muscled legislation through the Senate today reshaping parts of the new health care overhaul law, sending it back to the House for what is expected to be final congressional approval this evening. With Joe Biden presiding in case his vote was needed to break a tie, the Senate approved the measure by 56-43. All voting Republicans opposed the measure, as did three Democrats: Arkansas Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor, and Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson.
Democrats originally hoped the Senate's vote would ship the measure to President Obama for his signature. But working with the chamber's parliamentarian, Republicans found two minor provisions in the bill—dealing with Pell grants for low-income students—that violated congressional budget rules and were deleted from the legislation. As a result, the bill has to be returned to the House because both chambers must approve identical legislation before it can be sent to the White House.
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