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Time crunch looms for health bill

Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2009

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is pressing to advance his version of healthcare legislation past a key juncture this week in a bid to avoid a timing crunch that could otherwise kick the proposed revamp into next year. Republicans will likely filibuster the "motion to proceed," which simply allows the Senate to begin debate. Delaying consideration of the bill until 2010, an election year, could jeopardize its chances and turn the intricacies of the Senate timetable into a political tool for the bill's opponents. This week could offer a test of Reid's ability to hold together Democrats and independents in the 60-vote majority needed to shut off any filibuster.