Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday that the Senate will take its first procedural vote on his health care bill at 8 p.m. on Saturday, CBS News Capitol Hill Producer John Nolen reports.
Once the ball is rolling on health care, however, Republicans plan to pull out all the stops against it. They could use procedural tactics to draw out the debate, such as requesting the entire 2,000-plus page document be read aloud.
"It's going to be a holy war," Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) told the Los Angeles Times.
Even just beginning the debate could be difficult, however. Reid needs all 60 Democrats to pass the first procedural vote to begin debate. After the procedural vote, the Senate will hold a voice vote to actually start debating. The Senate will adjourn for Thanksgiving, though, and come back on Nov. 30 to begin debate in earnest.
After what could be weeks of debate, Reid will once again need to hold his caucus together to pass another procedural vote -- this time to overcome a Republican filibuster to allow for a vote of the actual bill. This vote should be the most challenging. Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.) said today he would join the Republican filibuster if he determines he does not approve of certain aspects of the bill, reports Roll Call.
When asked if he would filibuster the bill if he found its abortion language to be lacking, he said, "Yes. In other words, I won't vote for cloture on the motion to end debate. But I don't want to get involved in each and everyone of the details because there are a lot of other things that could keep me from supporting it at the end as well if they aren't to my satisfaction."
Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats, has also threatened to filibuster the bill because of it includes a public option.
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