What: All Issues : Health Care : Access to Health Insurance : On adjourning the Senate/On adjournment (2010 senate Roll Call 62)
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On adjourning the Senate/On adjournment
senate Roll Call 62     Mar 23, 2010
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This vote was on adjourning the Senate until 3:05 p.m. on March 23.  The vote was called around 2:50 p.m. the same day, as the Senate prepared to take up legislation to make corrections to a major health care overhaul bill the House had passed the prior evening.  Since the vote did not conclude until 3:11 p.m., the Senate adjourned and then immediately resumed its deliberations following the vote.

Reid called this vote because technically the Senate was still on the “legislative day” of March 19, even though the calendar date the day the vote was called was March 23.  The “legislative day” and the calendar date were different because the Senate had only recessed, rather than adjourning, in the days prior.  Reid needed to jump ahead to the next legislative day, for recordkeeping purposes, in order to start the clock on the 20 hours of debate set aside for the health care bill, which would make major changes to the health insurance system, as well as revising student lending laws.

Democrats worried that even this smaller bill could face significant obstacles and for that reason decided to use an expedited procedure known as “reconciliation” to consider it.  In essence, using reconciliation shields the bill from filibusters and limits total debate time to 20 hours.  However, it does allow for unlimited amendments to be offered to the legislation, all of which receive a vote.

By a vote of 57-39, the Senate voted to adjourn.  Every Democrat present voted to adjourn.  Every Republican present voted against adjourning.  The end result is that the Senate adjourned and then immediately reconvened.

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