Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will get exactly the 60 votes he needs to pass healthcare reform legislation through its first test tomorrow, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) said Friday.
Reid on Thursday scheduled a cloture vote on a motion to proceed yesterday. The vote is the first crucial test the healthcare bill will face in the Senate.
"My guess, that's all it is, is that it would be exactly 60 to exactly 40 but we'll see," Vitter said on MSNBC this morning. "I think he probably does [have enough votes] for this first pivotal vote."
Reid has refused to predict whether or not he will get the necessary votes to pass the measure. "We'll find out when the votes are taken," he said when asked on Thursday about his chances of success.
Vitter is a staunch opponent of the bill.
Three centrist Democrats, Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mary Landrieu (La.) and Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) have expressed several concerns about the Senate bill, including doubts about the bill's cost, the public option.
Nelson has singled out the bill's abortion provisions which he thinks do not do enough to prevent federal dollars from paying for abortions.
Two others Democrats potentially could be absent from the vote on Saturday night. Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus is currently in Montana tending to his ailing mother. Sen. Robert Byrd (W.Va.) has experienced health problems all year.