From NBC's Ken Strickland
Some details of what occured in the Senate chamber during and after today's vote:
-- During the roll call vote, Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid stood up and first voted "no" before instantly realizing he meant to say "aye." Laughter erupted in the chamber... Reid dropped his head on his podium and then finally said, "Aye." He sat down looking red-faced and embarrassed.
-- While every other senator responded to the roll call vote with a simple "aye" or "no", Sen. Robert Byrd (D) lifted his finger in the air an said in a booming voice: "This is for my friend Ted Kennedy. Aye"
-- Bernie Sanders (I) was late for the vote and wasn't in his chair when the clerk called his name. A few minutes after all the names had been called, Sanders burst through to chamber doors and quickly walked the distance of the room giving a thumbs up to indicate his "aye" vote. When he finally got to his desk, the clerk called his name. He stood up and loudly pronounced "YES!" The chamber laughed and applauded.
-- Vicki Kennedy, the wife of the late Ted Kennedy, sat in the front row of the visitor's gallery one floor above the Senate floor. She cried during the vote. And when the vote tally was read, she shock her head with her hands over her face as in disbelief.
-- Republican Sen. Jim Bunning was a no-show and didn't vote.
*** UPDATE *** Per NBC's Lauren Selsky, Ben Nelson (D) spoke on the Senate floor this morning defending his health-care vote. He mentioned multiple times that he "stuck to his guns" and in no way compromised his pro-life principles. He stated that he did not look for weaker language, rather he looked for clearer language in the bill.
Nelson also stressed that the bill does NOT cover abortion, and that in order to have abortion covered a rider must be purchased with own funds, not federal money. He stated that both in the Stupak and Senate language, no federal funds can be used to purchase a plan that covers abortion saying "in short, the Senate bill assures that no federal funds be used for abortion."