Senate on Track to Adjourn by Christmas Eve

Posted December 21, 2009 at 12:15pm

Updated: 5:25 p.m.The Senate reconvened midday Monday and remains on track to pass the sweeping health care reform bill by Christmas Eve. The chamber will adjourn at 6:30 p.m. Monday with plans to reconvene at 6:15 a.m. Tuesday and is scheduled to cast two votes at 7:30 a.m. The first vote is to adopt the 380-page manager’s amendment to the overall health care bill. If that passes as expected, the Senate will move to a cloture motion on the substitute to the bill. The Senate passed its first cloture motion on the health care bill early Monday morning, voting 60-40 along party lines to beat back a filibuster of the manager’s amendment. Three cloture motions must be approved in order to steer the health care bill to final passage. The Tuesday morning vote marks the second in that series, with the third expected Wednesday afternoon. If all time is used to debate the measure as Republicans have promised, final passage on the health care bill could occur at 7 p.m. Christmas Eve. Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) also announced Monday the Senate must pass a short-term increase to the nation’s debt limit before the end of the year. The House passed such a measure before adjourning last week, and the Senate could return after the Christmas holiday to act.