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Liveblog: Senate Vote on Cloture for Health Care Reform Bill

Senate[Ed. Note: as of 8:10 p.m. ET, the Senate voted 60-39 for cloture on the Health Care Reform bill. Debate on the bill will proceed after the coming holiday break.]

8:22 p.m. ET — There is the usual post-vote speechifying outside the Senate chamber. Reid and Dodd both make predictable remarks about the importance of health care reform. Both have praised their fellow Senator Max Baucus, who after all this time and effort is pointedly missing from this presser.

We note that Sen. Voinovich of Ohio did not vote. Isn’t that interesting?

Sen. Reid has been asked a couple times now about Sen. Landrieu and the public option, to which he said that Landrieu is working with Sens. Schumer and Carper to find a option acceptable to all Democratic Senators. Hmmm…

We’re hearing that Sen. Baucus (D-MT) was not at the presser because he had to fly home immediately due to a family illness; a source says they hear Sen. Baucus’ mother is quite ill (and on government health care). We’ll watch for more details on this situation.

8:14 p.m. ET — It’s been a long road to get to this point, where we can finally expect a debate on the floor of the Senate over the Health Care Reform bill. But we still have a long haul ahead of us. It’s been pointed out that 60 votes are needed to pull the public option out of the bill; we just saw 39 votes which would gladly yank it.  We need to keep up the pressure on a minimum of 21 Senators who might be on the bubble. Stay tuned for the next step in this epic battle for real health care reform.

8:10 p.m. ET — Sen. Dodd gavels chamber back in order, asks if anyone wants to vote or change vote; hearing none, the vote for cloture passes with 60 Ayes and 39 Nos. There is applause in the chamber and Dodd gavels it down as not permitted.

(pssst…we’re cheering here, though!)

8:08 p.m. ET — Lieberman was an Aye…phew. Mikulski and Johnson late as Ayes. Now reading off the No votes; sounds like a Republican roll call.

8:-07 p.m. ET — WE GOT THEM! Landrieu and Lincoln voted Aye!!!

8:06 p.m. ET — Could not hear either Landrieu or Lincoln; did one of you hear them?

8:05 p.m. ET — Aye from Whitehouse, Udall before him; still can’t hear some of the votes. Now going through votes not cast earlier. Burris very loud Aye.

8:04 p.m. ET — Shaheen, Specter, Stabenow are Ayes, Shelby predictably a No.

8:02 p.m. ET — Reed of Rhode Island is an Aye, loud and clear.

8:01 p.m. ET — Could not hear either Levin or Lieberman, although there was a pause after Lieberman. Anybody heard it, please add to comments.

8:00 p.m. ET — I’s, J’s, still can’t hear…impression is party line vote. Oh my, Klobuchar is loud and clear as Aye. Apparently Minnesotans have good lungs.

7:59 p.m. ET — Now in E’s, now Feingold, Feinstein, still can’t hear…ah, Franken is Aye, loud and clear.

7:57 p.m. ET — We are in the C’s now, but the votes are difficult to hear.

7:56 p.m. ET — Reid now asks for termination of roll call and that Senators vote from their desks. We are going to see a little drama if this means they will voice a vote seated.

7:50 p.m. ET — Sen. Harry Reid is droning on about the necessity of this health care bill. If only he were capable of better oratory…fortunately one can see in various video feeds from the Senate floor a modicum of scurrying which conveys a sense of urgency that Reid’s speech does not.

7:45 p.m. ET —  C-SPAN noted an AP report which said that Senate Dems had 60 votes to pass cloture, including the votes of Sen. Mary Landrieu and Sen. Blanche Lincoln.

But we know we can’t count the chickens until all these eggs are hatched. Stay tuned, and catch the ramp-up liveblog with Jason Rosenbaum at this link.

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