Sorry for the late posting; I spent much of today traveling. It is the season, after all.
Anyway, as expected, the Senate passed the health care reform bill early this morning.
The 60-39 vote exactly mirrored last night’s cloture vote; once again, Jim Inhofe (R-OK) was the single absentee Senator.
Now the House and Senate versions of the bill will have to be reconciled in a conference committee, and then that bill will have to be passed by both houses of Congress.
Unsurprisingly, the GOP is still trying to delay the final passage of the bill–Roll Call reports that they’re blocking Majority Leader Harry Reid’s attempts to name the Senators who will sit on the conference committee.
Because of the GOP’s obstructionism and delay tactics, the debate over health care reform has become the second-longest debate in American history–the 25-day-long debate on health care reform is only surpassed by the 26-day-long debate on whether or not to enter World War I.
Some Republican Senators, though, seem to be throwing in the obstructionism towel–as James Inhofe, the absentee Senator on the last two major health care vote, recently said:
“I can assure you the vast majority of the [Republican] conference was on my side saying we’ve had all the fun we’re going to have.”
Hopefully more of Inhofe’s colleagues will see the light.
31 million Americans who currently lack coverage will receive it because of this bill. Our deficit will be reduced by more than $130 billion in the first ten years alone. Millions of people will get federal subsidies to help them purchase better health care coverage.
Merry Christmas, America.