CongressIn front of a standing-room-only spectator gallery, the Senate voted 60-39 Saturday night to invoke cloture and limit floor debate on the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009,” the Senate’s companion measure to similar healthcare reform legislation passed earlier in the month by the House of Representatives. Invoking cloture requires a three-fifths majority (60 votes) of the full Senate. Though not a vote on the legislation itself, the procedural vote is significant since it prevents opponents from trying to filibuster the bill to death.

It seems Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is really getting into the spirit of the holiday season. Not only has he promised President Obama that he would deliver a shiny new healthcare package to the President’s desk by Christmas, but since revealing the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” the Senate’s version of healthcare reform, it is apparent that he likes playing Santa Claus so much he has stuffed Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) stocking with $100 million.

swine flu vaccineAn ABC News/Washington Post poll showed that nearly half of parents don’t plan on having their children vaccinated for the H1N1 swine flu. More than half of those who do plan to vaccinate are encountering supply problems.

Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced Wednesday night that he and his upper chamber cohorts are ready to bring their own version of comprehensive healthcare reform legislation to the Senate floor for consideration.

pregnantPresident Obama and abortion advocates in the Senate plan to remove pro-life language in the healthcare reform bill that passed the House on November 7. Their guns are aimed at the Stupak Amendment, a measure that ensures taxpayers' money will not fund abortions.