REID MAY HAVE HIS SIXTY
Posted by Andrew Roman on December 19, 2009
As midnight approached last evening, reports started surfacing via the news wires that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appeared to be very close to securing the 60 votes he needs to get radical health care reform – ObamaCare – passed in the Senate.
That means he may have found a way to win over Ben Nelson, Democrat Senator from Nebraska.
And that ain’t good.
Yesterday Reid spent most of the day meeting with Nelson – the lone Democrat holdout – trying to woo him back into the donkey fold. Apparently, the negotiations were quite successful. Nelson himself said that “real progress” was made.
It sort of gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling inside, doesn’t it? Like a coat hangar ripping out your gut.
Patrick Yoest with Dow Jones Newswires, via the Wall Street Journal posted this:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) appeared close Friday to securing the needed votes to pass sweeping health-care overhaul legislation, as senators shuttled to his office to work out a last-minute compromise on abortion … Nelson said late Friday after a negotiating session in Reid’s office that “real progress” has been made on a compromise and indicated that the two sides are looking closely at language aimed at bridging the two sides’ differences on abortion.
Reid spokesman Jim Manley said that Friday was “a day of long, hard negotiations,” but that senators “made great progress and are pleased with how the discussions have proceeded.”
Democrats sought language on the abortion issue that would satisfy Nelson, who previously sought language similar to that in a House-passed version of health-care legislation that effectively bars insurance plans receiving any federal subsidies from offering coverage for abortion for any of their enrollees.
WKOW-TV in Madison, Wisconsin reports:
Nelson has been seeking stricter abortion language and said new concepts he’s been offered may accomplish the goal of barring federal funding for abortion. He also reported progress on addressing his concerns over the costs to Nebraska of an expansion of Medicaid.
The talks were expected to continue Friday night and Saturday morning.
Dems want to see this monstrosity passed by Christmas Day.
In order for that to happen, a lot of things have to fall into place.
Later today – sometime after 7:30AM (after the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill is voted on) – focus will shift back to health care. There will be three total motions filed by Harry Reid – each one requiring thirty hours of debate time before a vote can be taken.
He is expected to file what is known as a “manager’s amendment” – a version of the health care bill that is inclusive of all the changes to the original 2000-plus page bill currently in the Senate.
After Reid files the “manager’s amendment,” it will be read aloud – something that could take anywhere from 10 to 11 hours.
From the time the reading of the bill is completed, thirty hours of debate time is required before the first cloture vote on the “manager’s amendment” can take place.
So, let’s say, for the sake of argument, the “manager’s amendment” is filed at 8:00AM this morning. The bill is then read aloud for eleven hours, which takes us to 7:00PM tonight. After that, 30 hours of debate brings us to approximately 2:00AM Monday morning. That’s when the first cloture vote is taken.
Thirty hours after that – approximately 8:00AM Tuesday morning – the second cloture vote takes place (the substitute amendment).
Then, thirty hours after that – approximately 2:00PM Wednesday afternoon – the shell bill or underlying bill (inclusive of all changes and amendments) will come up for what will be the third cloture vote.
Thirty hours after that – approximately 8:00PM on Christmas Eve – the final vote on the whole deal will take place.
That’s the breakdown.
God help us.
Update December 19, 2009 – 9:52 AM
The Senate, as expected, approved the $636 billion Department of Defense Appropriations Bill this morning. That means the road to ObamaCare is officially open – and if there’s any truth to the reports circulating this morning, Ben Nelson has crumbled. Dems have got their sixty.