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Senate Passes Landmark Health Care Bill

Newscom / Jason Reed

Now, Congressional Democrats face one more major challenge: merging the House's and the Senate's two different reform package, so that each chamber can pass the same bill. That merging process kicked of behind the scenes weeks ago, but will begin in earnest in the days ahead, and could last several weeks. We'll keep you abreast of all developments.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) warned Democrats in a speech before the vote they would face a "truly outraged public" when they are on break.

"People who voted for this bill are going to get an earful when they finally get home for the first time since Thanksgiving," McConnell said.

"This fight is long from over," he said. "My colleagues and I will work to stop this bill from becoming law. That's the clear will of the American people."

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) was the only absent senator.

About The Author


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at