Senate Democrats Yield Time, Shortening Health Care Debate


Senate Democrats and Republicans have apparently agreed to split the time left on the clock for reconciliation debate, about seven hours and twenty-five minutes, even though Reid yielded back all of Democratic-allotted time.


Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid Wednesday yielded back all of the debate time allotted to Democrats in the health care reconciliation debate -- seven hours and thirty-two minutes.

That means they have just contracted the amount of time before a vote on the "fix-it" bill the House sent over this week.   

The remaining time literally is given up and doesn't go to Republicans - it's just gone and the amount time now left for the GOP has been shrunk to eight hours and thirty minutes.

 Vote-a-Rama   is then slated to start 5:30 p.m.ET, if there are no votes or delays before then.

Tuesday the Senate burned seven hours of its 20 hours of reconciliation debate time.

It's quite possible Republicans will get some votes on a handful of amendments today. (Note - once voting starts, the debate clock stops - only while the roll call vote is on).

GOP conference aides are compiling their members' amendments and posting them online when they are called-up for consideration on the floor.

On Tuesday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., who is managing the bill for Democrats, said he expects "one or two changes" to the bill -- "nothing of substance" -- but that means the House will have to vote on this again, if Baucus is proven right.

The House would then have re-approve the bill; and it would return to the Senate (with its anti-filibuster protection) and be re-approved, before heading to President Obama's desk.