CBC News
Thursday, Dec 24th, 2009

The U.S. Senate is set to pass landmark health-care reform legislation on Thursday, a $1 trillion bill pledging to extend coverage to an estimated 30 million Americans.

The final Senate vote needs only a simple majority for passage. This follows three procedural votes that passed this week, which needed a 60 vote win. Democrats have needed all 58 members and two Independents to pass those legislative hurdles against unanimous Republican opposition and a threatened filibuster.

Thursday morning’s vote will be the Senate’s first Christmas Eve vote since 1895, when the issue was a military affairs bill concerning employment of former Confederate officers, according to the Senate Historical Office.

But the health-care bill still needs to go through the process of reconciliation in which legislation passed in the House of Representatives is harmonized with the Senate’s bill. Negotiations could extend until at least February.

Full article here