Under the unique rules of the United States Senate, a member of the body may insist legislation actually be read before a vote is cast on the legislation.
After threatening to do that, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has now confirmed the health care bill must be read. Republicans will also try to filibuster the health care legislation. The Democrats will need 60 votes to proceed, which they will try to get sometime around Friday.
Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Ben Nelson (D-NE), and Bill Nelson (D-FL) are key votes on this. If those three Democrats vote to end the filibuster, they are, in effect, voting for passage of the health care legislation — voting to end the filibuster and against final passage is a clever way Democrats up for re-election have found to pass bills they love, but know they cannot support.
They ensure the legislation has enough votes to pass by a simple majority and then vote to end the filibuster, which requires a super majority. Then these erstwhile Democrats vote against the legislation’s actual passage knowing it will pass even if they vote no.
I suspect voters will remember these tricks next year and punish them.