This just in from the Associated Press:
A Republican senator says she will vote for a Democratic health care bill, breaking with her party on President Barack Obama’s top legislative item.
Sen. Olympia Snowe kept virtually all of Washington guessing how she would vote until she announced it late in the Senate Finance Committee debate Tuesday. Until then, she told reporters, she had not even let Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, in on her secret.
She told her colleagues: “When history calls, history calls” even though she had some criticism of the bill.
Democrats, aware that Snowe could be the only Republican in Congress to vote for their health care overhaul, have spent months addressing her concerns about making health care affordable and how to pay for it.
This from Politico:
She said she supports the bill with reservations, and shares the Republican concerns about how Democrats will shape the bill after it leaves the committee.
In a subtle warning, Snowe said: “My vote today is my vote today, it doesn’t forecast what my vote will be tomorrow.”
Snowe’s vote was the only mystery surrounding the vote Tuesday in the Finance Committee. Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) worked hard for Snowe’s vote, spending hours in recent days and weeks trying to allay her concerns.
He was practically speechless after Snowe finished her statement. “Thanks senator, for that thoughtful statement,” Baucus said, offering an understatement that drew chuckles from the audience in the hearing room.
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