Final Dem Holdout Lincoln on Board, Reid Now Has 60 Votes

November 21, 2009

(ChattahBox)— Just moments ago, conservative Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas announced that she would vote yes to allow the Senate’s health care reform bill to proceed to debate. Lincoln was the last holdout, leaving her own party in suspense, as to her intentions regarding tonight’s procedural vote of cloture to bring the historic health care reform bill to the floor. Lincoln’s yes vote means that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) now has that Republican filibuster-proof magic number of 60 votes.

During her floor speech Lincoln reiterated her opposition to a public option, but supported the procedural vote to allow the debate to move forward saying, she would vote against any final bill that contained a public option.

The Senator from Arkansas blamed Republicans for trying to frame a yes vote for the cloture motion, as a vote to approve the health care reform bill itself. And she decried her critics accusing her of standing in the way of health care reform, because a yes vote may hurt her reelection chances.

After a lengthy speech, Lincoln noted that the reform of our health care system was needed: “The truth is this issue is very complex. There is no easy fix and it’s imperative that we build on what’s already working in health care in America,” Lincoln told her Senate colleagues.

The procedural vote is scheduled for Saturday at 8:00 PM during a rare weekend Senate hearing.


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