I have to say, I am legitimately shocked and impressed. The Dems actually move the ball down the field.
In a way you can neither overstate or understate the importance of this vote. On one hand, yes, it was only a procedural vote that just allows the legislation to enter in to the real debate and actual vote. The Dems will still have to break another Republican filibuster attempt to close the debate. If they can do that, all they need is a simple majority vote (51), which they have easily.
But on the other hand, this is an effort that some critics have labeled dead for months. The Democrat's incompetence and impotence is something of legend. Three Democratic senators were on the fence until today. Republicans were in a full uniformed united effort to filibuster the bill and kill it before it reached the floor and could be debated on. Not a single Republican voted to allow the legislation to even reach the floor.
In the end, the Democrats secured all 58 members of their caucus and brought in both Independent votes to reach the needed 60 votes to break a filibuster. For now at least, our sometimes friend/ sometimes foe Joe Lieberman came through.
Good on you, Joe.
"Health care reform backers won a key victory Saturday night as the Senate voted to move ahead with a floor debate on a sweeping $848 billion bill.
The 60-39 vote to prevent a Republican filibuster against the start of debate on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's legislation broke down along strict party lines. All 58 Senate Democrats -- along with independent Sens. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont -- supported bringing the measure to the floor.
Thirty-nine of the 40 Senate Republicans opposed the motion. Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, didn't vote.
"Tonight's historic vote brings us one step closer to ending insurance company abuses, reining in spiraling health care costs, providing stability and security to those with health insurance and extending quality health coverage to those who lack it," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement."