Millions of Americans may be getting an unwanted present this upcoming Christmas night. Senate Dems are determined on passing ObamaCare by Christmas; even if that means voting for legislation that will nationalize 1/6 of the economy, raise taxes and limit health care access on Christmas night.
According to Fox News…
The Senate is on course for a final vote on health care reform legislation Christmas day — either gift-wrapping passage of President Obama’s top domestic agenda item or sending him the legislative equivalent of a lump of coal.
Getting to that point, however, will be no holiday.
Numerous Senate aides tell Fox News that the expected schedule through next week includes votes on a defense spending bill and an increase in the federal debt limit, some late-night sessions, the introduction of amendments that could take hours to be read aloud and three potentially decisive procedural votes requiring large majorities.
If the Democratic caucus can remain unified that long, it could set up a final vote next Friday on legislation intended to overhaul the health care system, check rising costs, and provided coverage to millions of uninsured Americans.
Anything can happen in the Senate, where vote timelines are a notoriously unpredictable moving target. But legislative aides provided some guidelines for following the action on the Senate floor:
Friday — The House passed a defense spending bill Wednesday, sending the legislation to the Senate. A cloture vote, requiring 60 to pass, is expected to take place Friday, which would set the defense bill up for final passage Saturday.
Saturday — Reid then would introduce what is known as a manager’s amendment tied to health care reform, and some Republicans are planning to insist it be read aloud, estimated to take more than 10 hours. That would allow Reid to file motions for three separate cloture votes related to the health care legislation, with a 30-hour wait before each vote.
Tuesday — After a day of speeches on Monday, the Senate would be set for its first health care cloture vote, possibly as early as 1 a.m. It would be a key test vote to confirm whether the Democratic leaders have enough votes to pass the bill.
Dec. 25 — After two more cloture votes spaced at least 30 hours apart, the Senate would be ready in the evening on Christmas for a final vote on the bill, though the Senate also would have to fit in a vote on a bill raising the debt ceiling by $290 billion, which the House passed Wednesday.
Harry Reid could introduce his bill as early as this weekend to allow time for Republican parliamentary procedures, such as requiring the reading the bill. The devolpment also shows that the Dems are also relying on pushing through one of the most unpopular bills to come out of Washington on a night where most Americans will be distracted by their families and Christmas cheer.
Roadblocks do remain in the way to getting to the vote.
Harry Reid has yet to lock in 60 votes and coming to that number may pose a problem as some Senators such as, Ben Nelson and Bernie Sanders are still having reservations about voting for the bill in its present form.
There is also the issue of a plethora of progressives such as, Howard Dean, Ed Schultz, Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos and others who do not want to see this passed due to the lack of a robust public option. Another thing to take into account is how many times the deadline has been moved already; this bill is a very difficult thing to pass and is being met with much resistance from the public and in polling.
I still believe that ideologically we are winning the healthcare debate, the public does not want this and recent opinion is showing that. I also believe that there is a rift in the liberal establishment that does not want this bill as much as we do, but for different reasons.
We must not let our guard down and keep up the pressure on Congress because if Harry Reid gets to a vote on Christmas expect the Senate bill to be passed. He would not want to vote on a piece of legislation that he knows he is going to lose with his supermajority.