D-Day for Harry Reid: Can he wrangle 60 votes for Senate health reform bill?


Perhaps Ringo Starr should attend Saturday night's start to the debate over the health care reform bill in the Senate. After all, it was Starr who first uttered the malapropism that later became a hit song (and movie) by The Beatles -- A Hard Day's Night. Saturday evening may shape up to be just that in the upper house of Congress.

For clues regarding the bill's destiny, look for key, early maneuvering. Bill author Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, has to retain all 60 members of the Democratic Conference (58 Democrats, two Independents) to pass a procedural vote. If even one conference member strays -- and can't be persuaded to change the vote -- the health care reform bill won't even make it to the Senate floor for debate.