Sweeping Health Care Bill Advances in Senate

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (center), Sen. Charles Schumer (left) and Victoria Reggie Kennedy celebrate after the Senate passed a key procedural vote on health-care legislation. (Getty Images)

In early morning procedural votes today, the Senate approved cutting off debate on the manager’s amendment on health care legislation offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The manager’s amendment did not include a public insurance option, which Farm Bureau strongly opposes. Today’s procedural votes are viewed by many as a test vote for the sweeping legislation, which senators have been debating for nearly a month.

The Senate could vote on the overall measure as early as Thursday (Christmas Eve). If approved, the bill will go to a conference committee early next year for reconciling with the version passed by the House in November. President Barack Obama has urged speedy action on the massive bill and would like to sign it into law before his annual State of the Union address in January.

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