Alternate headline: “Mitch McConnell sells out freedom by conceding 11 hours to fait accompli.”
The Senate will hold a final vote on healthcare reform at 8 a.m. on Christmas Eve.
Under Senate rules, the GOP could have insisted that the vote not occur until 7 p.m. but Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took to the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon to announce an agreement that allows senators to depart Washington sooner to begin the Christmas holiday…
Earlier Tuesday, Reid said he was trying to persuade McConnell to agree on the final healthcare vote on Wednesday.
“We hope to be able to complete it tomorrow,” Reid said. “Certainly with ice storms coming to the Midwest we hope that we can finish tomorrow and not have to be here Christmas Eve.”
So he held out for a Christmas Eve vote anyway, even though it’s not a vote on the final final bill and it’ll be a pure formality if they get 60 tomorrow for cloture. What’s the problem? They’ve all got kids and grandkids they want to see on Christmas, as do their staffers. Why work late if you don’t have to and doing so would accomplish nothing? Pure spite is a poor political strategy, especially when the basic symbolic point — forcing the Dems to wait until the last possible day to pass this travesty — is preserved.
Actually, the early vote will achieve something the late vote couldn’t: A full day of media devoted to a bill the public hates and which both left and right agree is garbage. Good luck getting people to watch the news after dark on Christmas Eve; now, thanks to the new arrangement, they’ll have almost 12 extra hours to stew about it before the holiday draws them away. McConnell knows what he’s doing here.
Update: Sounds like The One will get a head start on his vacation too.