December 20th, 2009
06:52 PM ET
6 months ago

Senate pushes to pass bill by holiday

 'I think it's time for a vote,' Sen. Durbin, the Senate's second-ranking Democrat said Sunday.
'I think it's time for a vote,' Sen. Durbin, the Senate's second-ranking Democrat said Sunday.

Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats braved the aftermath of a blizzard Sunday to continue their push to pass a sweeping health care bill before Christmas.

The Senate began an all-day session, to be followed by a crucial vote scheduled for after midnight, on changes crafted by Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada to gain support for the bill from all 60 members of the Democratic caucus.

With Republicans unanimously opposed, Democrats need the support of their entire caucus to overcome a filibuster and move to a final vote on the bill later this week.

"We have had a long, arduous and I think sometimes taxing debate to reach this moment," said Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, the chamber's second-ranking Democrat, to open the session. "I think it's time for a vote."

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Filed under: Democrats • Health care • Senate
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Greg, MN

    Why has every crucial vote on this "wonderful" yet not revealed health care bill taken on weekends and in the dark of night?

    This is far from transparent. Harry Reid just brought the bill out of darkness yesterday. And the CBO hasn't tried to score its costs yet.

    What's the hurry?

    There is no doubt the liberals will lose one if not both houses in 2010. Its too bad the won't get enough votes to overturn this and override a presidential veto.

    December 20, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  2. The Watcher

    They will. How else will they get all these idiots to take the chip. RFID baby! Welcome to the end...

    December 20, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  3. charlie in Maine

    Dear Dems,

    Do the job we sent you there to do. Don't back down and stick together. It worked for the progressives that came before you. After Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. If the positive stuff doesn't make you pass this then think of 1994 and the "Contract on America" that they put through after the party blinked on this issue.

    December 20, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  4. German,Irish American

    It was hilarous watching Durbin on ABC this morning pushing for a quick vote, and then admitting he didn't know what was in the bill when trying to defend the buyout of Ben Nelson. Everybody needs to step back and take a deep breath. During the Bush years, no matter how many lies the Democrats and media tell you, EVERY bill was bi-partisan because the Republicans didn't have enough votes without the Democrats. What you have now is unprecedented partisanship on the Democrat side. There is no attempt at bi-partisanship as the Democrats lock Republicans out of discussions and bill writing. What we have is one party rule that makes deals with taxpayer money being used for bribes. Hopefully voters will have a chance to correct this in 2010 if they can keep ACORN and the rising militant Black Panthers from fixing elections.

    December 20, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  5. Katie

    Republicans come off looking like playground thugs.

    December 20, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  6. victim of the false prophet OBAMA

    why not...one thing this partisan debate has shown America is how loony these liberal democraps are...no further evidence needed for their demise 2010.

    December 20, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  7. Bpin

    Because of the snow, some of the mainline press could not get into Washington. In keeping the true spirit of their rock star leader in mind, they want to wait until more press arrives. I believe this will be a cut and run. After all the poor folks find out they are going to be forced to buy private health insurance instead of getting it for free, they are going to need to run. In some countries this is called communism. In the US, it is just protecting people. Government controlled bathroom breaks are on the agenda next.

    December 20, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  8. mikl

    Just corruption and nothing else. Nelson sold his vote. This democrat will pay in 2010 and 2012.

    December 20, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  9. Slider

    Well, Senator Durbin, I hope this vote goes better for you than the last vote you pushed so hard to get...

    You know, Dick, your amendment trying to change the language of the Authorization for the Use of Military Force in Iraq that somehow failed by a vote of 70-30 but became the rallying cry for all the leftists against the Iraq war?

    This time, sir, it won't be the U.S. troops you'll be screwing...

    December 20, 2009 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  10. nathan smith ga

    thank you democrats ..... keep up the good work.... we are proud of you!

    December 20, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  11. Frank Jones

    The benefits of this bill do not kick in for 4-5 years. Which begs the question, whats the rush? Could it be that the popularity of this bill drop drastically the more Americans learn about it? Also didn't someone campaign on a platform of transparency?

    December 20, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  12. All We Don't Want for Christmas !!!!!!!!

    Yes they will push to pass this bill before the holiday. That way they can in some pathetic way claim victory for something that has no substance and something that the majority of Americans do not want.

    December 20, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  13. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If Republicans hadn't delayed things, then we could have had the bill heading to conference now and not to an inital vote in the Senate. I can't wait for this to get to conference with the House version. That needs to get done.

    December 20, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  14. New Yorker

    The Christmas present most of us DON'T want, especially since we, our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are the ones who will be paying for it.

    December 20, 2009 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  15. Nea

    I truly PRAY that we get Health Care Reform:no im not asking for a perfect bill because it never will be i just want a good bill to me if its going to save someones child, Mother, Father, Daughter or son in the long run, No everybody will not benefit right away but in the long run if its going to help somebody then to me this bill is worth passing at least we will be getting somewhere instead of keep digging up mud and slanging in from side to side.

    December 20, 2009 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  16. MVDCT

    A 2010 message for Congressional Democrats from a registered Democrat for the past 25 years. Since you came to power in 2007, our country has headed in the wrong direction and in 2009, things have gone from bad to worse. You have proven yourselves to be incompetent stewards of this nation's treasure, and your more government intervention, more regulation and higher taxes policies have been an abject failure. You are destroying our currency and saddling our children with decades of debt. Congratulations, in one short year, you've done a lifetime of damage.

    December 20, 2009 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  17. Raj Aryan

    I am a fiscally conservative Democrat. Our tremendous national debt is the single biggest threat to our economic progress.This 2100 page monstrosity is a slap in the face of Americans. Divided government works better and I will be voting for the GOP in 2010.

    December 20, 2009 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  18. thompson

    I would hardly call it "sweeping." It falls so short of what the people need.

    It is amazing to me that it's so hard for Democrats to unite on important issues like this. Why are they Democrats? To think that Nebraska's Sen. Nelson actually had to be bribed (this time the Republicans called it right!) by his colleagues in the Senate. Not only that, he did so using the noble issue of abortion rights as his excuse. Apparently when some concessions were made on abortion, what it really took to buy him off was for the rest of the country to be required to pay for Nebraska's Medicaid. What a sorry excuse for a U.S. Senator!

    I'm a fairly liberal democrat, but the one thing John McCain said on the campaign trail that I would like to have heard Obama say was, "(when Senators pull stunts like this) I will make them famous."

    December 20, 2009 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  19. bennie new york

    What a sad statement of what our democracy has become- one party(Democrats) fighting to pass legislation that was hijacked by the other party(GOP) that won't even vote for what is essentially their own legislation.

    December 20, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  20. aware

    Over-reach kills Dems 2010 and 2012! :)

    December 20, 2009 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    No public option. No YES. It's as simple as that.

    December 20, 2009 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  22. Preston kathy

    Preston it sounds to me like both parites do not like this bill if you try to vote for the bill you will lose there respect

    December 20, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  23. Mike in Montana

    No public option, no lower cost for Medicare Plan B, no lower age to apply or qualify for Medicare and no lower income per year to qualify for Medicaid.., then there is "no" new affordable health care reform legislation bill for "all" Americans'. This new health care reform bill is a 'joke' and the 'joke' is on us. What happened to a new affordable health care reform bill for "all" Americans' ? Looks and sounds like the big 'greedy' corporate health care and pharmaceutical companies "won".., because we sure didn't.. Maybe, the Republicans' are right.., we should start over after the new year with a 'complete' new health care reform legislation bill for "all" Americans'. Thank you, President Barack Obama, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada), Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for providing "no" new afffordable health care reform legislation bill for "all" Americans'. Mike in Montana P.S.: Nancy, you really let the American people down.

    December 20, 2009 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  24. Bob

    They better. They are wasting tax payer dollars by not passing a heath care bill. If your state Senator votes "No" on the heath care bill, send them your medical bills so they can pay them since they obviously have the money and don't think American's need health care.

    December 20, 2009 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  25. Sick of Sellout Democrat Losers

    Another bill shoved down our throats before anyone has even read it. What's the emergency? They admit the bill won't even start helping the uninsured until 2014. Whay the rush??? The answer is power, The Dumbocrats want absolute power over you and your life. They'll stop at nothing to make you absolutely dependent on government. That way, their jobs are secure. The community organizer needs to go back to organizing communities. He sucks at running a country. Between bowing down to leaders of other countries, shoving bills down our throats after he promised transparency, blaming everyone else for his own problems, using fear tactics to get his way, and bribing leaders to do his bidding, I can't think of anything he's done well. Thank you to all of the bedwetters who thought this man with no experience could run a country. What a fine mess you've gotten us into. Good luck looking your children and granchildren in the face. Bravo.

    December 20, 2009 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
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