There are nine weeks left in the year to deliver a bill to Obama’s desk.
Intense days and nights lie ahead, said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. Senators who don’t like the bill will find themselves the focus of a “prayer session,” said Nelson. “They will pray that the retribution of God doesn’t come down on them,” he joked.
Nonetheless, moderate Democratic senators who control the balance of power on health care were holding their ground. Republican opposition stiffened, and party leaders announced they would attempt to strangle the bill before formal debate begins.
Despite the obstacles, senior Democrats cast Reid’s draft legislation as a turning point. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said there is now a “sense of inevitability … that, yes, we’re going to pass health care reform.”