Reid Gets 60th Vote: Holdout Lincoln Agrees

She'll allow health care bill to move forward; vote at 8pm
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 21, 2009 1:51 PM CST
Reid Gets 60th Vote: Holdout Lincoln Agrees
Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., in August.   (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

Democrats have hit the 60-vote number needed to move ahead on health care legislation. Just hours before the 8pm roll call, Arkansas' Blanche Lincoln said on the Senate floor that she will vote with her party. The centrist Democrat had been the last remaining Democratic holdout, after Mary Landrieu and Ben Nelson opted in. Facing unanimous Republican opposition, Harry Reid needed the Senate's 58 Democrats and two independents on his side to prevent a GOP filibuster.

Though she's on board for now, Lincoln warned that she remains opposed to a public option. "I will not vote in favor of the proposal that has been introduced by Leader Reid as it is written," she said. Landrieu, too, warned that even though she's voting to open the bill up for debate, that doesn't necessarily mean she'll vote for the final package. (More Blanche Lincoln stories.)

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