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Finance takes up public opt. amendment

From NBC's Ken Strickland
The Senate Finance Committee is about to vote on the first amendment dealing with public option.

The amendment is offered by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who is making his closing argument now.

The vote is expected to fail. The reason: Committee Chairman Max Baucus already has announced he'll vote against, and it's expected that Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad and Blanche Lincoln will vote against as well. In addition, all Republicans, including Olympia Snowe, will vote against it, too.

After Rockefeller vote, they'll start the debate on the Schumer public option amendment.

*** UPDATE *** As expected, the Rockefeller amendment was defeated by an 8-15 vote.

Five Democrats voted against: Baucus, Lincoln, Bill Nelson, Tom Carper, and Kent Conrad

All Republicans voted no.