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Senate passes Defense bill

From NBC's Luke Russert
Earlier this morning, the Senate passed its Defense spending bill for the fiscal year 2010. The vote was 88-10 with anti-war liberal Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) the only Democrat to vote against the measure. Nine Republicans also voted against it.

This was the first vote that needed to be completed in order for Majority Leader Harry Reid to have a chance of passing health-care reform before Christmas.

Meanwhile, around 8:45 am ET, the Senate clerk began reading Reid's "manager's amendment," which contains all the information regarding the changes to the originally introduced health-care reform bill.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell required the reading today to delay the bill. As of yesterday, Democratic aides said that the reading could take as long as eight to 10 hours.