GOP Amendments To Health Care Reconciliation Bill Fail
The Senate last night defeated Republican amendments to the health care reconciliation bill, which are widely seen as attempts to derail the package or force Democrats to take difficult votes. Republicans offered dozens of amendments, but all were rejected with only a few Democratic defections.
Police Concerned About Parliamentarian's Safety
Roll Call reports that police have become concerned about ensuring the safety of Senate Parliamentarian Alan Frumin, who has taken center stage in the debates over the health care reconciliation bill. "We are aware there was an Internet posting about picketing his house over the weekend," said Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer.
Discharging Gays From Military To Draw More Scrutiny Under New Rules
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is set to issues new rules today for the enforcement of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. A discharge will require that testimony from third parties be given under oath, and that the discharges of enlisted personnel must be approved by an officer holding a rank of one-star general or above.
U.S.-Russia Treaty To Cut Nuke Arsenals
The United States And Russia have agreed on a treaty to significantly reduce the size of each country's nuclear arsenals. The treaty will be signed by President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Prague in two weeks, but this will not be the end of the process -- it must also win approval in the United States Senate, which might not be easy.
NYT: Is Health Care Bill A Grand Achievement, Or Lost Opportunity?
The New York Times points out that some liberals will look at the health care debate as a missed opportunity for the public option: "For many Democrats, the public option was the be-all and end-all of the health care debate for much of the past year. Even after President Obama, in a speech to a joint session of Congress in September, said he could live without it, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats battled to keep it in the legislation. But Wednesday night, as the Senate stood on the verge of approving the budget reconciliation bill with the final health care revisions, Democrats resisted a late, last round of pressure from liberal advocates to include the public option in the legislation, saying they were willing to take their winnings and call it a day."