As soon as the Senate passes its health care bill tomorrow, members will race to get out of town, and begin a long overdue recess. At some point after they return, though, they'll have to hold...yet more health care votes!
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The House and Senate bills will be merged in a negotiating process that will begin shortly after tomorrow's passage, so that each chamber can vote on an identical piece of legislation. Originally, party leaders wanted to wrap things up before President Obama's State of the Union address at the end of January. But right now, some Democrats, including Democrats within the White House, differ on when that final vote will take place.
On the Hill, it's no different.
"We're going to get this done," said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), who will partake in neogtiations, "and I predict we'll get it done before the end of January."
"Now a lot of work is going to be done between now and then," Harkin went on.