Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) on Saturday became the final Democratic holdout vote to say she would support tonight's first procedural vote on healthcare reform.
With Lincoln's support, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) now has all the votes he needs to clear the bill over its first major legislative hurdle. Reid headed into today's session two votes short of the 60 needed to pass the vote but Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) earlier today became the 59th vote when she said she would support the motion to proceed.
Both Landieu and Lincoln said their votes today do not represent a final vote for the legislation as authored.
After she said she would vote for the bill, Lincoln explained her decision to her campaign supporters.
"Rather than drop an issue that is so important to Arkansas working families and small businesses, I intend to vote to open debate on a health care bill that will undergo several changes in the days and weeks ahead," she wrote in an e-mail.
Read Lincoln's full floor statement about her vote here.