Biden meets Reid ahead of healthcare unveiling in Senate

Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning to help Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) win support for a healthcare vote.

Biden met with Reid, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), according to a Democratic aide.

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Reid is expected to roll out the details of a healthcare reform plan to the Democratic Conference on Wednesday. He faces the daunting task of passing a healthcare reform bill through the upper chamber by Christmas.

Another aide said that Biden, Salazar and Daschle came to the Senate to offer their assistance to Reid.

“[Biden] knows 90 senators, including people like Lincoln, Landrieu and Nelson,” said another Democratic source, referring to three centrist Democrats who may not vote for a motion to start debate on the healthcare reform bill: Sens. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Mary Landrieu (La.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.).

“You form relationships with everybody after spending 36 years up here.”

Biden is expected to meet with other senators off the Senate floor as Reid tries to pull his caucus together for procedural votes. Since Republicans are all expected to vote against a motion to begin debate on the healthcare bill, Reid must win the support of all 60 senators who caucus with Democrats, including Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.).

Biden was elected to the Senate in 1972 at the age of 29.

Salazar was elected to the chamber in 2004 and served four years with Lincoln, Landrieu and Nelson.

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