Senate Sees First Successful Health Care Vote

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CAPITOL HILL - After three full days of debate, the Senate took its first successful vote on health care legislation, Thursday.

Despite the 61-39 vote in favor of the bill, there are still challenges ahead.

Democrats are labeling Republicans as obstructionists for blocking the votes for as long as they have.

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Lawmakers have vowed to work through Christmas to finish the health care bill, even agreeing to work on weekends.

"I did ask for the opportunity for members to go to church Sunday morning if they wanted to and the majority leader indicated that would be permissible," Sen. Mitch McConnell said. "We do get to go to church Sunday morning, but after that we'll be here and ready to vote."

Thursday's vote shows just how hard it'll be to pass more controversial amendments, including one by conservative Democrat Ben Melson that would restrict abortion funding except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.

The House passed tough restrictions last month in their health care bill.

Republican congresswoman Michele Bachmann told CBN News she and her staff don't like what they see from the Senate.

"This bill is a lot of pain with very little gain," she said. "This is all about redistribution of wealth and government control of our lives. It has nothing to do with increasing health care access or bringing down the cost of health care."

Still, Democrats insist their bill will save lives and money. They aim to pass it by year's end.

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John Jessup

John Jessup

CBN News Anchor

John Jessup serves as the main news anchor for CBN, a position he assumed after 10 years reporting for the network in Washington, D.C. His work in broadcast news has earned him several awards in reporting, producing, and coordinating elections coverage. Follow John on Twitter @JohnCBNNews and "like" him at