WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans are promising to fight to the end, though they concede that there's probably nothing they can do to keep Senate Democrats from passing a health care reform bill by Christmas Eve.
But Senate passage won't mark the end of the battle. Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad tells "Fox News Sunday" that in order to keep the necessary 60 Senate votes together, conferees will need to keep the Senate bill largely intact during negotiations with the House.
There are major differences between the Senate version and the one passed by the House, on issues ranging from abortion restrictions to the new taxes that would help pay for the legislation. Liberal groups are accusing President Barack Obama of giving up too much in the debate on health care. But adviser David Axelrod says the bill still offers more choices and security for Americans, and savings for the government.
And Vice President Joe Biden, writing in The New York Times, says it includes "fundamental, essential change" that opponents have resisted "for generations." But Republican John McCain is vowing to "fight until the last vote."