From NBC's Ken Strickland and Mark Murray
A little after 1:00 am, the Senate health-care bill cleared a key procedural hurdle that almost all but ensures its passage on Christmas Eve. The AP: "All 58 Democrats and the Senate's two independents held together early Monday against unanimous Republican opposition, providing the exact 60-40 margin needed to shut down a threatened GOP filibuster."
Meanwhile, the only way that Majority Leader Harry Reid was going to fail to get 60 votes was if a member of his caucus didn't show up to vote.
And that's exactly what Republican Sen. Tom Coburn said he's "praying" for.
"What the American people ought to pray is that somebody can't make the vote tonight," he said on the Senate floor Sunday afternoon. "That's what they ought to pray."
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin was taken aback. "I don't think it's appropriate to be invoking prayer to wish misfortune on a colleague," he said. Durbin invited Coburn to come back to the floor and clarify his remarks.
"I've tried to reach out to him. He is my friend and I have worked with him but this statement goes too far. The simple reality is this: we are becoming more coarse and more divided here."