From NBC's Ken Strickland
Here's the rough outline of how the weekend should play out with health-care votes in the Senate for this weekend and Monday.
A approximately 7:30 am ET, the Senate will vote on the Defense funding bill. Since the D.C. area is expecting a snow storm, it should make for some interest pictures of members walking/driving in for the vote.
Sometime after the vote, Senate Majority Leader Reid will have to introduce a critical health-care amendment called the "manager's amendment." Once he does, we expect Republicans will make the Senate clerk read it aloud. I've been told the reading may take from six to eight hours. What's most important is that, from Reid's procedural-strategic standpoint, the reading must be done before midnight. So it could be a long night. If they get done reading the bill in a reasonable hour, I suspect there will be some health-care speeches on the floor.
There shouldn't be any health-care votes on Saturday, just the vote on the defense bill in the early morning.
No votes, just speeches.
The Senate will probably come in sometime after members go to church. Not sure how long they stay in session. TBD.
Monday (early, early morning):
-- At about 1:00 am ET, the Senate will take it's most important health-care vote. This will be the vote to break the filibuster on the "managers' amendment." Reid will need 60 votes. At this point in time, he does not have 60.
While there will be other health care votes up until Christmas Eve, THIS VOTE WILL DETERMINE THE FATE OF THE SENATE HEALTH-CARE BILL. Here's why: The amendment will include all the last-minute fixes, most importantly stripping the public option and suitable abortion language. Once this part of the bill is passed, it's effectively done. If Reid gets 60 on this, the other votes on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday should fall into place like dominoes.