Time is getting extremely short for the U.S. Senate to pass a health care reform bill before Christmas. Republican delaying tactics have begun; on Wednesday Senator Tom Coburn, R-Okla., objected to a routine request to waive the reading of a 767-page amendment by Senator Bernard Sanders, I-Vt. That amendment would create a single-payer health care system and observers believe reading of the amendment would eat up valuable time and eventually not pass.
The manager's amendment, to be released by Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has been crafted behind closed doors. That amendment is expected to incorporate all remaining changes to the bill before Senate passage. When asked if Republicans would force the reading of the Reid package, Senator Judd Gregg, R-R.I., said he would certainly think so.
To then get his report passed, Reid would probably have to invoke cloture, a process that could take up to a week to complete, by which time it will be time for the holiday.