Senate ‘vote-a-rama’ continues as Democrats survey finish line on sweeping climate and healthcare bill

The change process, known on Capitol Hill as a “vote-a-rama,” began shortly after 11:30 p.m. ET Saturday night. A final vote on the bill will take place when the amendments are finished, the timing of which is not yet clear.

The package is the result of meticulous negotiations and will give Democrats a chance to achieve key policy goals ahead of the upcoming midterm elections. Senate Democrats use a special process to pass the bill without Republican votes.

Once the legislation is passed in the Senate, it must then be approved by the House of Representatives before President Joe Biden can sign it into law. The House is poised to come back this Friday to pass the legislation, according to the office of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

Senate Democrats only need a simple majority for the bill’s final approval, as they use a process known as reconciliation, which allows them to avoid a Republican filibuster and the associated 60-vote threshold.

However, in order for a bill to pass through the reconciliation process, the package must adhere to a strict set of budget rules. And the Republicans are using the vote-a-rama to get the Democrats on the scene and enforce politically hard votes.

As expected, key insulin provisions were removed from the bill after Republicans filed a point of order, which resulted in a vote to remove them.

The final vote was 57-43. A threshold of 60 votes was needed to keep the provision in place.

The provisions initially included in the bill would have capped insulin prices to $35 per month, both in the private insurance market and through Medicare. But the Senate MP ruled that the cap on insulin in the private insurance market was inconsistent with the appeasement rules Democrats use to push their legislation through the chamber.

Democrats kept both provisions in the bill anyway, but Republicans put forward a point of order to force a vote to remove the provisions from the private market only. The $35 Medicare insulin cap remains in place.

Manu Raju and Kristin Wilson of CNN contributed to this report.

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