Senate Health Care Bill: First Votes On Amendments Scheduled For Today

For the Senate, yesterday was another day of sound and fury, signifying nothing. The entire day was consumed by floor speeches, without a single vote on any amendments. At about 8pm, Mitch McConnell agreed to allow a vote on the first few amendments. Two amendments dealing women's preventive health care cost sharing will be voted on at 11:45 am, and two measures dealing with Medicare (one being John McCain's motion to recommit the bill without any “cuts” to Medicare) will get a vote at roughly 2:45 pm. From the Office of The Majority Leader:
11:45am vote in relation to the following amendments:
Mikulski #2791 (Women's Services)
Murkowski #2836 (Women's Services)
2:45pm votes in relation to the following:
Bennet (CO) amendment #2826 (Medicare)
McCain Motion to Commit (Medicare)

It appears that the Republicans are trying to figure out the slowest possible pace they can get away with. If the Democrats can successfully paint Republicans as pure obstructionists, they will possibly use that as justification to boldly short-circuit the whole floor amendment process. Republicans don't want to that to happen, nor do they want to be branded as "obstructionist." McConnell went to great lengths to point out that Republicans were ready to vote on the first amendments late last night, but it was the Democrats fault that the votes did not take place. On the other hand, it is clear that they want to draw out debate for as long as they possibly can. Expect this debate to keep moving forward, just at a painfully slow pace.

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