As the result of an agreement between Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the Senate is now expected to vote on the health care reform bill Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. eastern time. Earlier, it was expected that Republican delay tactics would not permit a vote until Christmas Eve. At the same time the Senate will vote on an extension of the federal debt limit.
Tuesday, the Senate moved through more procedural votes and more preliminary votes. Pre-conference negotiations are expected to begin as soon as the Senate passes its bill and will continue over the holidays. Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., says Congress will have a bill on President Obama's desk by his State of the Union address at the end of January.