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."
Please, call Joe Lieberman's bluff. Pass the more controversial parts such as a strong public option, expansion of medicare-buy in etc with reconciliation and worry about the other parts later, for the election year 2010. In political elections, you have to make waves so Joe Lieberman thinks he is making waves. Call his bluff and let the chips fall where they may in the elections of 2010 and 2012!!!!
Hey Joe, the republicans sit on the other side of the aisle, please join them you Putz!
The democrats need to stop making concessions and just use reconciliation. The bill is being watered down to the point where it will not help anyone. We need real campaign finance reform so people can be elected to help average people rather than to help their big business financial supporters.
He's just making money off the people he's supposed to represent. Seems like this is all he's done for years. And, they put up with it, so either they need educated, or he needs replaced..
Kick the flip-flopping hypocrit out of the Democrat Caucus. He's trying to throw around his weight. KICK HIM OUT. (chairmanship and all).
You guys have to understand that Republican have no intention to work with Democrats. Simple no bill no reform.
KICK this no-good, sorry-excuse of a Democrat to the curb.
I think it's time the Democrats showed this chump the door, as a matter of fact send him my way, I'll put my size 11 up his butt cheeks!
If Sen. Liebermans objections were genuine, I'd accept that. But it's not – he campaigned in 2000 on the Medicare buy in. He's also been spouting lies that HRC will add to the deficit – is he blind deaf or just dumb?
He's a hypocrit of the worst kind – supporting it until he rejects it.
I guess we as voters shouldn't expect much from Joe Lieberman from the great state of Aetna. After all, we couldn't afford the pay offs that the insurance industry has provided to him.
Look...Senator Joe is sure to reap huge pay back from the insurance companies and he wants to be re-elected. Why should he roll over for the average joe? He can say anything during the election campaign and the half brain voters will vote for him. Good luck!
The problem with Lieberman is that he caucuses with the Democrats. I don't care if he's a Republican or an Independent, but what irks me the most is that he has leadership positions as a Democrat then pulls stuff like this.
The Senate leadership really should do whatever it has to to get this bill passed but after they really should revoke Lieberman's chairmanships and any other perks he has by caucusing with Democrats. Again, I don't care if he disagrees with what Democrats are doing – that is for the voters of Connecticut to decide. It's the fact he has power under the same party he continues to go against.
have you tried a $250 million dollar bribe?
MEMO TO SENATOR TOM HARKIN - Senator Joe Lieberman does not, repeat, does not run this country. I can't believe that you would make such an irresponsible statement. I feel sorry for the citizens of Connecticut. To be represented by someone who is only interested in furthering his own special interests is disgusting. No one should think he/she has that kind of power.
THIS MAN SICKENS ME.
He stands for nothing, and believes in nothing, but self-interest.
His wife worked for pharmaceutical companies as a private consultant. OF course Lieberman is going to stall the health care reform legislation for his own gain.
HE IS A SNAKE IN THE GRASS.
God help us! What has this country come to!!! Lieberman should be ashamed of himself!
I always find it remarkable that Republicans complain about spending under Obama, when it was just as bad for the entire 8 years of Bush. Where was your desire for fiscal responsibility then?
The problem is that neither party represents those who are actually interested in small, fiscally conservative government. So when a Republican complains about the federal deficit under Obama, I say pot, meet kettle.
Sen Lieberman, you are NOT a "Proticion For The People of America"! You begain as John McCain Jr! You have No action.....President Obama job is the people not the job you wish!!!
If Joe the Judas is worried about the deficet and cost of Health care he should help cut our aid to Israel.
If Joe is so principled, then he should be willing to live with the consequences of those principles. If he won't back Democrats ona simple procedural question to allow an up or down vote on heath care, then it's time for the Democrats to strip him of his chairmanships.
However, the person who said that Democrats lack spines is very correct. They don't, and it's why I've left the party.
the sooner this guy is kicked out of office the better for American people.
He has always been a part of the problem not only for democrats but for the public.
Incredible how this one man is keeping health care away from so many. I would like to see a tally of how many people have died due to lack of health care during Lieberman's grandstanding.
If I Were Senator Reid, If Leiberman Does Vote Against Health Care. I'd Clear My Desk In 2010 And Make Senator Joe (Judas H.) Leibermans Life A Living Hell!
I used to live in Connecticut. I can't believe that Lieberman would pull a stunt like this. What has gotten into him? (And don't anyone say, "common sense", because that's just not the case).
He's really betraying his constituents, his state and his party (both of them!)
What a shame.
I would strip lieberman of his committe positions since he will not be a reliable party to any demoncratic votinf block
maybe they need to cut off all his special trips to Israel every 6 weeks or so. That would really punish him, eh?
He's out of there.