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Senate Bill Clears Second Hurdle; Christmas Eve Vote Expected

Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media, December 22, 2009

The Senate passed the second of three key procedural votes on the healthcare reform bill by a 60-39 vote along party lines on Tuesday morning.

An earlier vote to approve the nearly 400-page amendment package that was introduced this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) also passed 60-39, though only a simple majority was required.

A third procedural vote is expected Wednesday afternoon to limit debate on the healthcare bill. A final vote is anticipated at 8 a.m. on Christmas Eve.

Senate floor debate is continuing throughout today, with breaks at noon for the parties' caucuses. Reid started out the morning calling for the senators, under pressure after meeting for 23 straight days, to avoid personnel attacks when speaking on the floor.

Janice Simmons is a senior editor and Washington, DC, correspondent for HealthLeaders Media Online. She can be reached at jsimmons@healthleadersmedia.com.

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