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Monday's vote opens the floor to debate on the bill and the Senate is expected to schedule a full vote by week's end.

  • Monday's vote opens the floor, to debate on the bill, and the Senate is expected to schedule a full vote by week's end. The commas help visualize a different scenario. – Kris Nov 7 '13 at 5:22
  • Monday's vote opens the floor to a/the debate on the bill and the Senate is expected to schedule a full vote by week's end. – Kris Nov 7 '13 at 5:23
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It is a noun. You could just as easily say

Monday's vote opens the floor for debate on the bill and the Senate is expected to schedule a full vote by week's end.

or

Monday's vote opens the floor to discussion on the bill and the Senate is expected to schedule a full vote by week's end.

In the original sentence, debate is the object of the preposition to, not an infinitive.

  • I see. Thank you. And is this sentence implying that the Senate will vote later than this weekend? – user41481 Nov 7 '13 at 3:52
  • It depends on when Monday is. If Monday is in the future, it is still Sunday or earlier, and the vote is by next Friday, after this weekend, but before next. If Monday is in the past, there should be no weekend between now and the vote. – bib Nov 7 '13 at 3:55
  • This "monday" is this week's. So the Senate will decide when to vote by this weekend and actually vote sometime later than that? – user41481 Nov 7 '13 at 3:58
  • Only if the context allows. The statement could as well have appeared in a context where the word debate happens to be a verb instead. Think of it. And what about that word with an article prefacing it? – Kris Nov 7 '13 at 5:21
  • @Kris I agree the sentence could have been restructured so that to debate was an infinitive, such as Monday's vote opens the floor to debate the bill .... And, with an article it would have been more obviously a noun. – bib Nov 7 '13 at 12:07

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