Washington (CNN) - Tensions stemming from the prolonged debate on health care flared Thursday afternoon when Democratic Sen. Al Franken, who was the presiding officer, refused to let Sen. Joe Lieberman finish his speech on the senate floor.
Lieberman, the bane of the Democratic Party's liberal base because of his opposition to creating a public option and expanding Medicare, was speaking about preserving the Medicare trust fund.
After his allotted ten minutes, Lieberman - an independent from Connecticut who sits with the Democratic caucus - asked for more time to finish his speech, a request customarily granted in the venerable chamber.
"In my capacity as the senator from Minnesota, I object," replied
"Really?" Lieberman asked, seeming surprised by the rejection. "Okay," he continued with a chuckle, "I don't take it personally."
Immediately following the exchange, Lieberman's closest Republican ally, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, came to his defense.
"I must say that I don't know what's happening here in this body, but I think its wrong," said McCain. "I have been around here for 20-some years. [This is] the first time I have ever seen a member denied an extra minute or
two to finish his remarks."
A spokesperson for Franken explained that Lieberman was told to stop peaking because Senate leaders were enforcing the strict time limits so they could finish a defense spending bill and get to the health bill.
Majority Leader Harry Reid's spokesman, Jim Manley, said, "We did that to maintain order and [so] that no senator had an unfair advantage over another in terms of speaking. It was a simple request of the leader and Sen. Franken was adhering to the request of his leadership."
Later in the evening it appeared that Lieberman and Franken had made amends, as they could be seen talking, laughing and even hugging on the Senate floor.
Besides stupidy taking over Capital Hill, we have clowns like Al Franken who get elected by brainless people in Minnesota.
Senators Lieberman and McCain. Stop grandstanding and get to work for the American people. Okay?
Way to go, Franken!!
Anyone talking for 10 minutes needs to be told to shut up !!!!!
Surely Liberman has had plenty of opportunity to say what's on his mind and CNN carries all of it.
McCain, since you obviously don't know what's going on in the Senate, why don't you quit while you are ahead.
Franken is a disrespectful piece of trash. The fact that he was elected is just a testament to how useless Minnesota.
so what! Who cares anymore what any of them do.
I am a democrat and yet, see failure with them too at this time.
Al Franken and Harry Reid are ridiculous...
After Al Franken's inexperienced performance with Joe Lieberman I have a feeling the Democrats can kiss Healthcare Good-By.
That not all they should have cut off from LIEberman!
Franken - the Barely Elected Senator - once again shows the Left Wing's intolerance of opposing viewpoints.
is it peaking or speaking? get it together Cnn
Thanks senator Al Franken we the voters of CT con not stop him, but at least you did not give him additional time to parade his self fish desirer .He is an elected senator from CT, but some how he does not vote un half of the people of CT, does what benefits Joe and Joe alone.
Franken is a clown... I should know.
It shows what a putz Al Franken is.
Now Minnesota is the laughing stock of the nation for being dumb enough to elect a comedian in a time when we need leadership.
Joe Lieberman should have been cut off long before now. Matter of fact, he should be kicked out of the Senate and let him become what he really is a REPUBLICAN who does not care about the people in his State or in the the United States!
Just another example of the Democratic Majority trying to silence the opposition. Never fear though, the annointed one's poll numbers are lowest of any president since FDR during his first year. 2010 promises to be a time for the republicans to clean the house and senate of these kooks.
Yeah McCain, we know you see nothing wrong with stalling and obstructing the health bill. That's what make you and Lieberman republicans: being puppets of the insurance industry.
Gee, can we get everyone else to stand up to that nutjob Joe Lieberman too?
Wow, Franken has some guts standing up to a former Vice Presidential candidate, and the former Republican Presidential candidate. I think with a matter as important as health care. These Senators should be entitled to speak on their views. He was only asking for a moment, and I dont see the harm in that. Franken did overstep boundaries in my opinion.
Typical American politics. Will it ever stop before they destroy this country???
Someone needed to shut him up.
Lieberman is owned by Aetna and the insurance companies. He serves the insurance industry and not the people. Lieberman should be recalled from the senate and stripped of power.
This reads like a barely grown-up equivalent to high school gossip, thank you for the quality news reporting.