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Senate Moves Up Health Care Vote to 7 a.m.

The Senate on Wednesday agreed to further accelerate its schedule to complete work on Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) health care reform bill, deciding by unanimous consent to hold a vote on final passage at 7 a.m. on Thursday instead of at 8 a.m.

In one of the few moments of levity during the monthlong debate on the bill, Reid’s motion to change the time of the vote was met with a loud groan from Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). However, neither Mikulski nor any of her colleagues objected to the motion.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) asked to simply push the vote up to Wednesday evening. However, after a brief glance toward Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) objected.

The change in time should give lawmakers in the West and Midwest an hour head start in their travel home, which could be complicated by a major ice storm that is expected to snarl air travel on Christmas Eve.

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