The Washington Post: "Senate negotiators are inching toward bipartisan agreement on a health-care plan that seeks middle ground on some of the thorniest issues facing Congress, offering the fragile outlines of a legislative consensus even as the political battle over reform intensifies outside Washington… Even if the partnership does not result in legislation, Democratic leaders are already contemplating ways to preserve much of what it produces as they look to unite their party and pick up Republican votes when the health-care debate moves to the Senate floor in the fall."
"After a meeting among Senate Democrats to hone their message on revamping health care, some centrist lawmakers who could deliver crucial votes expressed confidence Wednesday that they would be able to sign on to the legislation and sell it to their constituents back home," the New York Times adds.
"In an interview, Sen. Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican, said he was committed to forging a bipartisan consensus on legislation that overhauls the U.S. health-care system," the Wall Street Journal says. "But Sen. Enzi said voters so far didn't seem impressed by what the Democratic majority on Capitol Hill has come up with, and predicted members of the House and Senate are in for 'some nasty, nasty town meetings' over the August congressional recess. 'I don't think they like what they see so far,' the senator said of voters.
Stu Rothenberg calls for a detente of sorts: "A month away from Washington, D.C., even to try to 'sell' the Democratic health care agenda, could well re-energize Pelosi and Hoyer. And given the intensity of the legislative sprint that started at Obama's inauguration, both parties — as well as the American public — could use a breather."
The Senate confirmation vote for Sonia Sotomayor will take place at 3:00 pm. NBC's Ken Strickland reports that retiring New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg yesterday became the eighth Republican to say he'll vote for her. "Although Judge Sotomayor and I may not see eye-to-eye on all issues or share the same political ideologies, our democratic system should allow for such differences. Judge Sotomayor is President Obama's choice, and she is obviously well qualified to be the next Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court," he said in a statement.
Video: Supreme Court nominee Sotomayor picks up another GOP vote, as Missouri Senator Kit Bond announces his support for her. NBC's Tracie Potts reports.
Worth noting: John Roberts was confirmed 78-22. And Sam Alito was confirmed by a much smaller number, 58-42.