Handicapping Tomorrow's Finance Committee Vote
The Finance Committee will vote on health-care reform
tomorrow.* Jon Cohn runs down the five senators his sources tell him could swing: Bill Nelson, Blanche Lincoln, Jay Rockefeller, Ron Wyden and Olympia Snowe. Ceci Connolly, in a nice overview piece, notes that Rockefeller and Wyden have been very public in refusing to pledge support for the bill.
From what I hear, there are no real swing votes. There are senators who, for tactical or political reasons, might vote against the bill. But the people I talk to don't believe there is a single Democrat on the committee who would actually imperil the legislation's chances. Anyone whose vote is needed will vote for the bill. But if the bill is going to pass comfortably, you might see Snowe withhold her vote to strengthen her negotiating position on the floor of the Senate, or Lincoln hold back because she's worried about her political standing in Arkansas, or Wyden hold back because he's genuinely unimpressed with the legislation and infuriated at how he's been treated. But the bill will pass, and easily. That means health-care reform will have passed all five relevant committees, and is moving toward the floor of the House and the Senate, and after that, the president's desk.
Update: Later this week, or maybe early next.
Photo credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images.
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