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Senate Advances Health Care Bill

For the second time in 31 hours, Senate Democrats suceeded in getting 60 votes this morning -- advancing health care reform one step closer to final passage.

The successful party-line vote leaves one more procedural hurdle for Democrats, scheduled for tomorrow at 1 p.m., with a final vote on the bill coming Thursday at 7 p.m. However, with the bill appearing likely to pass and Christmas Eve falling on Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were working on a timeline that could get senators home before the holiday.

"We are working on an agreement that will give certainty to end this session and hopefully the two of us together will be recommending something that makes sense for both sides in the not too distant future," McConnell said from the Senate floor following the rare morning vote.

Before McConnell spoke, Reid had been pushing senators on both sides of the aisle to get in the Christmas spirit, despite the heated debate over health care that has kept senators working weekends for much of the past month.

"I hope everyone would keep in mind, that's a time when we reflect on peace and good things in life," said Reid. "I would hope everyone would kind of set aside all the personal animosity -- if in fact they have any -- for the next little bit, and focus on that holiday."