December 14th, 2009
03:49 PM ET
10 months ago

Senate Democrat fuming at Lieberman

Senate Democrat fuming at Lieberman.
Senate Democrat fuming at Lieberman.

Washington (CNN) – Senate Democrats struggled to find a way forward on health care legislation Monday in the wake of Sen. Joe Lieberman's announcement that he will oppose a leading compromise proposal Democrats saw as their best way to get the 60 votes needed to pass a bill.

Privately fuming at the Connecticut senator, Democrats wrestled with whether to meet his demand to remove an expansion of Medicare from the bill - a move that would anger liberal Democrats who believe they've already made concessions on a government insurance option.

Democrats "may have to do what Mr. Lieberman wants," liberal Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa said to CNN.

Democratic leaders, who had hoped to file procedural motions this week to end debate and begin voting on the bill, called a special caucus meeting for 5:30 pm Monday to assess their bleak situation.


"It's hit a rough spot," acknowledged a Democratic leadership aide who said there is a "decent level of concern" about the fate of the compromise bill.

Asked if Senate leaders are scrambling to find a "Plan C" - something that could attract Lieberman without losing liberals - the aide said they are "working on it."


Filed under: Democrats • Health care • Joe Lieberman
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Unemployed in MN

    Throw him off anything he chairs in the Senate...send him to the bottom of seniority since he's not a Democrat...and when the votes come in at 59, make him the poster boy for corporate greed and arrogance, then defeat him in the next election, whether its a Democrat or someone from another party who beats him. There is no reason why a handful of so-called moderates, aka closet Republicans and/or corporate toadies, should be able to ruin what the majority of the country wants.

    December 14, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. JES

    Joe,

    Keep them honest if you can use that word up there.

    We are tired of spending tax dollars on more give away projects and yes that includes the current health bill.

    I bet the people that are trying to pass the hasn't even read the bill on their own.

    December 14, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. bsmith171

    all draft dodger Lieberman need to remind them of is who supported him in the primary.

    December 14, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  4. CommonSense09

    There's is something else in this bill Lieberman and it's not a political move by any means....crazy how people change once in office; stop working for the people that voted them in and start working for them selves to get richer!!!!

    December 14, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. scott michigan

    Pls get rid of this guy. I've had it with Lieberman

    December 14, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. mike

    Joe Lieberman has ulterior motives! You can bet he is in bed with the insurance industry. It was interesting to note during the 2000 Vice Presidential debate, Cheney made a punchline when Lieberman said he would like to make the money Cheney made in private industry...Well, Cheney fired back and said he was going to help him move to the private industry. Lieberman lost the election for Gore!

    December 14, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. dude palin

    Merry Christmas on the health care bill Joe !! What a jerk you really are.Give the people what you have in health care and your wife should stop speaking on cancer.You people make me ill !!

    December 14, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. HBO

    They should have taken away his charmanships and kicked his butt out of the Dem causus immediately after the election. He made it clear that he would rather see a ding-bat and old-sour-underacheiver in the Oval office that our current President.

    Sen. Reid, if you didn't know it before, I hope you know it now!

    You cannot do quib-pro-quo with a snake... He will bite you everything.

    After this... kick him out! If you don't we will!

    December 14, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. VK

    This is terrible politics ... where was this guy when Bush spend trillions on unnecessary wars (killing people) ... Now he is making it difficult to saving lives of their own citizens all sort of rubbish ideas of few billions of cost over next 10 years. Who says that there is no price on life?

    December 14, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. vwrtb

    I really dislike that republican!

    December 14, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. Ben in Texas

    I don't think the situation is so bleak, except for the American people. The Dems should let Lieberman hang himself by being the person to blame for the failure of health insurance reform. He would ensure his defeat the next time he runs, and the Dems could remove his committee assignments and totally sideline him.

    In addition, the Repugnants will hang themselves in the long run by blocking reform, as soon as their constituents realize how screwed they are in a few years. Meanwhile, several thousand Americans will die for want of readily available but expensive health care. Many others will go into bankruptcy due to health care costs.

    We could have had single payer health care, like our military and the rest of the civilized world, except for Lieberman and the Repugnants.

    December 14, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. Robin in Tampa, FL

    Progressives need to put their foot down. if there isn't going to be either a public option, or the option of buying into medicare at 55 then we don't need this bill. It's not fair to put in a mandate to pay for healthcare and not get anything out of it.

    December 14, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. Jack in Florida

    Judas Lieberman loves the spotlight and this is his way to have the power. Another Benedict Arnold..............if he is so against a "governement run health care" option, why does he take part in his own health insurance/medicare?.
    There are people dying Judas, that have no access to affordable health care. HEALTH CARE REFORM IS NEEDED NOW.............JUST DO IT!!!!

    December 14, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    "Democrats "may have to do what Mr. Lieberman wants," liberal Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa said to CNN."

    No, they really don't. The only reason they would analyze the situation as "have to" is because they have reached the point of wondering whether it is in THEIR OWN political benefit to push through with what they know is right or to cave like simpering fool sissies to the egregiously inflamatory misinformation campaign conducted by the GOPers. THIS is why the Dems will have trouble in 2010...it's why they have trouble every single election cycle after they've won control: they are spineless turds who don't fight for what we elected them to fight for. They cave time and again. GROW A PAIR AND USE RECONCILIATION YOU PANTWETTING, PAMPER-WEARING BABIES!!!!!!!

    December 14, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. paul oregon

    we health need care reform now not in not in2014 or later. we need a public opition , or single payer system now. if mr lieberman should choose to side with the party of NO. then i think the dem. party has nothing to lose. reid needs to take liebermans chairmanship of the home land security com. away from him and give it to a dem. call libermans bluff. i voted dem. and donated money to the dem. party . just wondering if the dems. can even lead themseleves out a wet paper bag. we still health care reform

    December 14, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Four and The Door

    This bill is a really bad idea at the wrong time for America and has become all about politics and nothing about what Americans or the economy needs. I hope Sen. Lieberman stands his ground and doesn't give in to political pressure.

    If the Democrats are serious about Health Care Reform, let them come up with a bill that will get bipartisan support. They know how to do that. The Republicans just want something that cuts health care costs to start with. They will not be on board with something that raises the cost of health care even more. That's not reform.

    December 14, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. unemployed by Obama

    Liberman has got my vote and I will work hard to get all the traitors of the American people out of Congress, thats all the Democrates and republicans and put more TRUSTED people in place.

    December 14, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Mike in MN

    Liberal Democrats are just going to have to accept that a majority of voters do not want the over reaching, too much goverment and too costly health health care reform (government takeover of health care) that they want. As long as 40 plus Senators are listening to the will of the people, liberal health care reform will not pass in the Senate. It's time to start over and draft health care reform that we can afford and that a majority of the people will support.

    December 14, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. ran

    This is an easy fix. First: strip Lieberman of his chairmanships. Second: use the 51 vote option and give us single payer non-profit universal health care now. Third: when the bill comes out of conference with the House use the 51 vote option again to pass that bill and send it to the president.

    Then do the same thing for energy, immigration, and any other issue before the Senate. Enough of the ,fear,hate,manipulation,obstructionism by Republicans,Liberman,Nelson,"blue dogs".

    December 14, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  20. terry,va

    I'm glad there is a least one that is willing to stand up for our financial future. We can give the less fortunate health care without ruining the entire system. Get a brain, congress!!!!

    December 14, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. Cindy

    Geez... and Senators were grumbling about Olympia Snowe grandstanding cause she supported the HealthCare committee bill... This guy Joe Lieberman is something else, isn't he? If anybody was questioning his gaming the system before, it's certainly been proven now.

    December 14, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. Peter

    This man isn't a Democrat. He was defeated in a primary, and only won the election because Republicans wanted to beat the Democratic candidate.

    Anyone but Liberman in 2012

    December 14, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. Ray Conne.....

    Im done with Lieberman!

    December 14, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. Jerry Coltrane

    Sen Lieberman is right. Senate, scrap this chaotic, junk bill that will ruin the citizens' private budgets for nothing in return.

    December 14, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. Get used to it Dems

    Democrats should get used to negoitating in good faith with holdouts like Senator Liberman. After the mid term elections, there will likely be 5 or 10 more Libermans, but they will not be independents who caucus with the Dems; they will be full fledged Republicans. Maybe when that happens, we can start to see some fiscal responsibility and maturity return to the Senates and we can derail this tax and spend pork barrel express, called the Obama choo choo

    December 14, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
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