Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed Tuesday to hold the vote on passage of the Senate health bill around 8 a.m. Thursday, rather than at 7 p.m., and the Senate then agreed Wednesday to ease lawmakers’ and staffers’ holiday travel plans by moving the vote to 7 a.m.
After voting on H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act bill, the Senate will consider H.R. 4314, a resolution that would increase the federal debt limit authorization.
Thursday is Christmas Eve, and the scheduling decision appears to increase the odds that senators and Senate staffers who observe that holiday will get a chance to spend with relatives rather than with one another.
Reid, D-Nev., created the bill by melding bills developed by the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and then by organizing a committee to modify his version to attract the 60 votes needed to get it to the Senate floor for a vote.