Healthcare Could Pass Before The Swearing In Of Massachusetts New Senator

Paul Kirk, the interim replacement for the late Ted Kennedy, has sworn to “absolutely” vote for health care reform. It looks like he could get that chance:

The U.S. Senate ultimately will schedule the swearing-in of Kirk’s successor, but not until the state certifies the election.

Today, a spokesman for Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin, who is overseeing the election but did not respond to a call seeking comment, said certification of the Jan. 19 election by the Governor’s Council would take a while.

“Because it’s a federal election,” spokesman Brian McNiff said. “We’d have to wait 10 days for absentee and military ballots to come in.”

Another source told the Herald that Galvin’s office has said the election won’t be certified until Feb. 20 - well after the president’s address.

It’s really getting down to the wire on this one, and now we can see why the Democrats are skipping the actual conference on the bill. Any extra delay in this bill puts it a step closer to death.