The debate on Obamacare in the Senate will be worth watching today. Over the weekend Obama gave yet another pep talk to Senators about the "historic" legislation before them.
What's likely up today is an abortion amendment by Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska which aims to "bring the Senate's bill in line with the much more restrictive abortion provisions included in the House bill, which passed last month."
The public option is looking pretty weak right now which is not likely to please Obama's liberal base which is already unhappy about his Afghanistan decision.
Allapundit at Hot Air sums it up nicely:
No wonder Obama’s meeting one-on-one with Queen Olympia in the Oval Office again. If Reid decides he can’t afford to piss off the left by dropping the public option, they’re likely going to need not one but two votes (at least) to get to 60: Lieberman’s a lost cause and Blanche Lincoln would be committing kamikaze by voting yes. Expect to see reports of Oval Office meetings with Susan Collins sometime soon too.
The entire process has been good theater, or would be if the consequences weren't so serious. The video of John McCain last week telling folks to cut up their AARP cards and send them back was priceless.
Robert Costa at NRO's The Corner was monitoring the debate yesterday and had this to say:
While President Obama meets behind closed doors with Democrats, the Senate GOP is on the floor and having a lively health-care discussion. Sen. Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.) calls the tone of the debate "excellent." He's right. The Senate GOP seems informed and united...Topics: malpractice reform, Medicare cuts, taxes, etc. Why this hour matters: Instead of the usual talking points, the GOP senators, if only for a moment, are having a bit of useful back and forth. If they want any chance of defeating Harry Reid's bill, they'll have to all be on the same page. Sometimes it's best to have such debates on the floor, and not in the cloakroom.
Should we start worrying if Olympia Snowe is getting a similar deal to what Mary Landrieu received? What kind of back room shenanigans are going on? We'll know soon enough.
Keep an eye on Memeorandum today for more.