It’s Christmas Eve and there is a lot more stirring than just a mouse. In Washington, D.C., the U.S. Senate just voted to approve a wide-ranging healthcare overhaul bill with Democrats and Republicans divided as they have ever been.
All 60 Democrats voted for the legislation while 39 Republicans opposed it (Republican Senator Jim Bunning was absent), ending a month-long marathon debate in the Senate with the first Christmas Eve vote in more than a century (1895).
In what some could interpret as a sign of just how important this legislation is to President Barack Obama’s agenda, his vice president, Joe Biden, presided over the session serving in his dual role of president of the Senate.
Now lawmakers will have the task early next year of trying to meld the two different versions of healthcare legislation that passed the Senate and House of Representatives, with Republicans vowing a tough fight.
“This fight is long from over. My colleagues and I will work to stop this bill from becoming law,” said Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.