Democrats hailed the compromise as a major step forward while Republicans denounced it as a government takeover of health care, and both parties spent much of the day speaking more to their bases than anyone else.
Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) sought to ease the concerns of liberals, saying the legislation is not the end of health care reform, its the beginning of health care reform.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) vowed to continue to stall the bill and called it an absolute outrage thats being perpetrated on the American people.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.