Oh my: Lieberman vows to filibuster Reid’s ObamaCare bill; Update: “Robust” public option short of votes in the House too

posted at 4:28 pm on October 27, 2009 by Allahpundit

Combine this with Snowe’s declaration that she’s not voting for any opt-out public option either and you’ve got 41 votes to kill it. And maybe, given the rumblings coming from Blue Dogs like Ben Nelson and Landrieu, a few more than that.

I’ve got a crazy hunch that the media’s strange new respect for free-thinkin’ independent-minded centrists like Snowe and Susan Collins won’t be extended to Joe Liebs.

“We’re trying to do too much at once,” Lieberman said. “To put this government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for the national debt. I don’t think we need it now.”…

Lieberman did say he’s “strongly inclined” to vote to proceed to the debate, but that he’ll ultimately vote to block a floor vote on the bill if it isn’t changed first…

“I can’t see a way in which I could vote for cloture on any bill that contained a creation of a government-operated-run insurance company,” Lieberman added. “It’s just asking for trouble – in the end, the taxpayers are going to pay and probably all people will have health insurance are going to see their premiums go up because there’s going to be cost shifting as there has been for Medicare and Medicaid.”

TPM has a short useful summary of what this means procedurally. Essentially, there are two cloture votes coming: One to open floor debate on Reid’s bill and consider amendments to it and the second to close debate and proceed to a vote on the bill. Lieberman’s willing to vote yes on the first but not on the second unless Reid agrees to drop the public option. If Reid does that, progressives will turn on him and leave his reelection bid dead in the water; if he refuses to do it, he runs into that 41-vote roadblock on the second cloture vote. Where he goes from here, I have no idea — as Karl says, presumably he’ll offer a public option with a “trigger” instead to try to pull Snowe back in notwithstanding the left’s antipathy to it — although the White House saw this train wreck coming and warned him not to float a bill with an opt-out public option. Even so, while the left will beat him up for not being able to buy 60 votes via horse-trading, isn’t Reid actually helped a bit by Lieberman taking the lead among the opposition? So deeply do progressives despise Joementum that the storyline here will be his betrayal and obstructionism, not Reid’s idiocy, which is a huge help to Dingy Harry. As scapegoats go, you can’t do better than a guy who lost a primary to a nutroots-supported liberal three years ago and then endorsed John McCain.

For a laugh, watch the clip below or follow the link to TPM and note their reminder to readers that a public plan, as currently written, would be wholly funded by premiums and wouldn’t be allowed to draw off federal revenues generally. How crazy of Joe Lieberman to think that might change eventually. Exit question: Is it a bluff?

Update: The surest way to get a public option to Obama’s desk is to push the strongest possible form through the House and then use that as a starting point for negotiations with the Senate, which will inevitably water it down. They’re headed for Plan B on that, too:

Clyburn told the assembled members at the meeting that the leadership does not have the votes to pass the robust public option, according to a House progressive familiar with the meeting. That sparked aggressive pushback from liberals, who argued that leadership — and the White House — should be working harder to win over the remaining votes the bill needs.

The document shows that 47 House Dems are committed No votes, and eight are Leaning No, for a total of 56. That means of 256 House Dems, only 200 remain, and a dozen of those are listed as undecided. The bill needs 218 votes for passage.

House progressives argue that the document should light a fire under Dem leaders. One House progressive tells me he’s convinced that most of the undecideds, and a number of the No votes, can be won over with the right mix of pressure and incentives — which only the House leadership and the White House can provide.

Ace thinks the Democratic leadership knows the P.O. is doomed and that this is just an elaborate kabuki to show their base that they tried to pass it. What’s the logic in that, though? By forcing a vote on the public option, they focus attention on the Blue Dogs who are opposing it — and who happen to be the most vulnerable Democrats next year.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


Stolen from fred Thompsons radio show:

dhunter on October 27, 2009 at 6:20 PM

Listen til 1:14 where the guy says I’m not dead,
yes he is,
I am not,
well, he’s very ill will be dead soon!

dhunter on October 27, 2009 at 6:23 PM

Just heard Dingy Harry say the PO was a concessus!

I for one am sick of their concensus B.S.

Dingy, dirty, tiny, smelly, corrupt, Harry Reid come 2010 and 2012 the American people will show you and you progressives and Rinos concensus at the ballot box and you will be gone!
Ha! Crapweasals!

dhunter on October 27, 2009 at 6:30 PM

The logic is that the leadership is trying to pass as much garbage as possible before the next congress is seated. They don’t expect to have as strong a Democratic presence in the next congress. With that premise, useful idiots are useful but dispensable.

burt on October 27, 2009 at 6:37 PM

By forcing a vote on the public option, they focus attention on the Blue Dogs who are opposing it — and who happen to be the most vulnerable Democrats next year.

Considering that the Blue Dogs generally come from centrist or right leaning districts, that’s probably a good thing.

BadgerHawk on October 27, 2009 at 6:50 PM

a number of the No votes, can be won over with the right mix of pressure and incentives

Yep, Nancy with her ‘taxpayer funded unlimited checkbook’ and Rahm Emmanuel’s muscle ‘we won’t forget who are friends are’.

Seems Barry is about to find out how many Democrats are willing to fall on their swords in 2010 for him. The guy’s huge ego actually believes that there members of Congress willing to die politically for him.

GarandFan on October 27, 2009 at 7:17 PM

Public Option is a Dead Man … Miss Him … Miss Him … Miss Him …

HondaV65 on October 27, 2009 at 7:53 PM

McConnell giving cover for mod Dems to vote NO on cloture, makes it clear the GOP WILl run ads against them on the cloture vote alone:

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, announced that in this case, members of his party will treat it as though it were “a vote on the merits” of a bill he said would “cut Medicare, raise taxes and increase health insurance premiums.” He suggested Democrats could expect campaign commercials next year on the basis of the vote, and recalled that Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., was ridiculed in his 2004 presidential campaign for having once said he voted for a bill before he voted against it.

ginaswo on October 27, 2009 at 8:26 PM

Except for his brief Gore lapse, Liebs has always been a decent Democrat. More like him and we’d have a loyal and responsible opposition.

petefrt on October 27, 2009 at 8:27 PM