Senate Invokes Cloture on Manager's Amendment
By a vote of 60-40, the Senate
to limit debate on the manager's amendment to the health-insurance bill at 1 A.M. this morning.
The amendent includes all the changes approved by the majority leader since the bill was introduced.
All 58 Democrats and 2 independents voted for it
and all 40 Republicans--including Olympia Snowe who had been courted for nearly a year--voted no.
Without the votes to block cloture, Republicans were
that the snowstorm that hit D.C. would prevent at least one Democrat from making it to the Senate to vote.
Their prayers were not answered as all Democrats showed up and voted, including
the ailing 92-year-old Robert Byrd who is confined to a wheelchair.
After cloture has been invoked, according to Senate rules, debate continues for an additional 30 hours.
Majority leader Harry Reid is keeping the Senate
in session day and night debating although at night there will probably be only one Democrat present
(as acting presiding officer) and only one Republican present (speaking against the amendment and the bill
or reading the Bible or whatever he wants).
As low man on the Democratic totem pole, freshman Al Franken, who won a bitterly contested recount in
Minnesota this Spring, may do most of the presiding during the night listening to the Republican drone
on to the empty chamber.
A straight up-or-down vote on the amendment itself will be taken at 7 A.M. Tuesday. Only 51 votes
are needed to accept the amendment.
If you didn't check yesterday, there was a long posting
on the health-insurance bill.
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