>> March 25, 2010
The Hill reports that the reconciliation bill will pass a couple of amendments to he House Health Care bill, sending it back to the lower House for another vote. Some crossing of the aisle has occured from both sides.
Senate Parliamentarian Alan Frumin sustained two GOP objections to two minor sections of a Pell Grant provision in the student loan part of the bill intended to change the original healthcare reform bill passed by both chambers.
The Senate held 10 hours of continuous, marathon voting starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, with Republicans trying throughout to lodge a successful objection to the bill to force its return to the lower chamber. The bill’s passage by the House is a safe bet, prompting Senate GOP Whip Jon Kyl (Ariz.) to call Frumin’s ruling “a consolation prize.”
In 10 hours of voting, only three Republicans crossed the aisle to vote with Democrats — Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, and George Voinovich of Ohio, who supported Democrats in blocking an amendment by Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) that would have allowed Medicare patients to opt out of receiving certain benefits.The Robot is not sure what implications this will have. I will leave that to more learned scholars. I'm merely passing on the information. Read the whole report here.
Senators began voting at 5 p.m. and rarely left the chamber over the next several hours, venturing only into the cloakrooms and only occasionally into the hallways where several members had hideaway offices nearby.
In contrast to floor speeches delivered during the afternoon and on Tuesday, Wednesday night’s voting was often marked by levity and was rarely tense. At one point, after Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) gave a tongue-in-cheek speech in favor of one GOP amendment, Democratic Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) responded by teasing Roberts over the University of Kansas’s recent loss in the NCAA basketball tournament.
The evening’s mood suggested a foregone conclusion; Republicans privately conceded that the bill was on its way to passage and said they weren’t surprised at the overwhelming defeat of their amendments. Democrats, meanwhile, celebrated by munching on lobster rolls from Legal Seafood in their cloakroom in honor of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who had championed healthcare reform for much of his 47-year career.