Lieberman: No cloture on Reid package

posted at 8:48 am on December 14, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

This should surprise no one, but Democrats are howling about a double-cross after Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) told CBS yesterday that he would not vote for cloture on Harry Reids’ compromise bill.  Lieberman’s colleagues thought they had an agreement with him to allow Reid’s bill to proceed to a vote.  His apparent reversal — which is no reversal at all from his repeated public pronouncements — leaves them short of a cloture vote on ObamaCare:

In a surprise setback for Democratic leaders, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, said on Sunday that he would vote against the health care legislation in its current form.

The bill’s supporters had said earlier that they thought they had secured Mr. Lieberman’s agreement to go along with a compromise they worked out to overcome an impasse within the Democratic Party.

But on Sunday, Mr. Lieberman told the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, to scrap the idea of expanding Medicare and abandon any new government insurance plan or lose his vote.

That set off howls of betrayal:

Senate Democratic leaders, including Mr. Reid and Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, said they had been mindful of Mr. Lieberman’s concerns in the last 10 days and were surprised when he assailed major provisions of the bill on television Sunday. He reiterated his objections in a private meeting with Mr. Reid.

A Senate Democratic aide, perplexed by Mr. Lieberman’s stance, said, “It was a total flip-flop, and leaves us in a predicament as to what to do.”

Why did this surprise anyone?  Last Wednesday, Lieberman warned that he couldn’t support a Medicare expansion.  A week ago, he appeared with Susan Collins for both of them to publicly oppose a government-run insurance option, reiterating the same position that he had publicly declared two days before Thanksgiving.

How can this be a “total flip-flop”?  It sounds as if Lieberman’s colleagues have wax stuck in their ears.

And Lieberman’s not the only Democrat backing away from Reid’s compromise.  Ben Nelson (D-NE) said it sounded like a precursor to single-payer health care, and an expensive one to boot:

Mr. Nelson said he wanted to know the cost of the Medicare buy-in. “I am concerned that it’s the forerunner of single payer, the ultimate single-payer plan, maybe even more directly than the public option,” he said.

Speaking of Nelson, the problem of abortion payments has still not been resolved.  The New York Times reports that Reid is still trying to find language that will win Nelson’s support while keeping progressives in line, and so far is not having any success.

It sounds as if this entire bill has become an abortion.  Reid gave up the public option and still got no closer to cloture.  If the CBO comes back with the obvious conclusion — that expanding Medicare will make it more costly, explode the deficit, and make those $500 billion in cuts disappear — Reid may never get back to any government expansion.


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Comments

Democrats insisted on running a left-wing nutjob against Joe Lieberman and basically ran him out of their party. Now they expect loyalty from him??

Don’t forget something though. They did this after he pretty much agreed with the entire Democrat party platform except for one thing.(Namely the Iraq war.) Now after everything he’s discovered that it sometimes makes sense to disagree with them.

Dave_d on December 14, 2009 at 10:54 AM

I’m glad Lieberman is opposing the healthcare bill. Expanding Medicare to people 55-64 is useless when people over 65 are having to pay huge out-of-pocket costs to pay for prescription drugs, for example. Why not concentrate on that first?

NathanG on December 14, 2009 at 10:55 AM

Don’t forget something though. They did this after he pretty much agreed with the entire Democrat party platform except for one thing.(Namely the Iraq war.) Now after everything he’s discovered that it sometimes makes sense to disagree with them.

Dave_d on December 14, 2009 at 10:54 AM

Exactly. I like the guy and agree with him, but he should become truly independent and walk away from the DNC money machine and the party as a whole. I think maybe he’s too liberal for the Republican Party; I don’t know.

NathanG on December 14, 2009 at 10:57 AM

Waterloo.

BPD on December 14, 2009 at 10:31 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVGSKVkkyhc

unseen on December 14, 2009 at 11:03 AM

“Last week, Harry Reid convened a working group to develop a compromise. Five liberals and five conservatives would attend. Chuck Schumer, Jay Rockefeller, Tom Harkin, Sherrod Brown and Russ Feingold would represent the left. Mark Pryor, Blanche Lincoln, Mary Landrieu, Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman would speak for the moderates. But Lieberman didn’t show up.

Twice.”
——
Joe thanks for caring so much, you a**.

Dave Rywall on December 14, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Time to KILL THE BILL!

elduende on December 14, 2009 at 11:08 AM

You’re so proud of yourself for belching up months-old jokes. Hooray for you.
Now get back to drooling over that Lieberman poster over your bed.

Dave Rywall on December 14, 2009 at 10:49 AM

Oh Grow up, whiner. What are you?..16 years old?

You’re regularily whipped by the HA regulars and you know it.
I have yet to see you present any coherent argument on any topic. You must be the product of a low quality school system. No offense intended, just sayin’.

That said, I thank you for your admiration…if you pay attention, you may learn something…but you’re going to have to want to better yourself.
You can do it!

Itchee Dryback on December 14, 2009 at 11:10 AM

Hooray for Joementum from the Nutmeg State!!!

Anybody here from Maine, to prevent this monstrosity from passing as a Snowe job?

Methinks there will be other Dem defectors (Lincoln, Nelson, Pryor, maybe Landrieu) when the CBO numbers come back on the cost of Medicare for 55-year-olds. Elmendorf may be what stands between our Republic and the Weimar Republic.

Steve Z on December 14, 2009 at 11:21 AM

He will vote for it if and when it gets that far.

To repeat..he said that its an overall good bill.

Itchee Dryback on December 14, 2009 at 11:29 AM

The people that betrayed Joe are screaming betrayal? That’s a shame.
: )

JeffinOrlando on December 14, 2009 at 11:34 AM

so when does Snowe or Collins ride into the rescue?

unseen on December 14, 2009 at 9:08 AM

I understand Snowe/Collins bashing is very much de rigueur around here, but try to keep in mind… if either Snowe or Collins was inclined to screw America with this plan, it would already be law, Lieberman’s objections notwithstanding.

JohnGalt23 on December 14, 2009 at 11:40 AM

This could, if we are lucky, be the week this scheme dies for 2009…

JIMV on December 14, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Hooray for Joementum from the Nutmeg State!!
Steve Z on December 14, 2009 at 11:21 AM

Nutmeg State? Steve, you’re showing your age! We have been the Constitution State for a while now (why the change, I have no clue). And, I agree with you. Go Joe, someone from the Northeast needs to show a spine and fight this debacle. Ned LaMont would have already folded like a house of cards.

joejm65 on December 14, 2009 at 11:58 AM

Democrats insisted on running a left-wing nutjob against Joe Lieberman and basically ran him out of their party. Now they expect loyalty from him?

The Church of Liberalism loves infidels; it detests heretics; but it positively loathes apostates.

The more rabidly and violently a dictator or terrorist opposes the concept of human rights and economic egalitarianism, the more liberals gather around in support. Conservative Americans are merely unbelievers; evil, of course, but they have the excuse of never having been baptised into the faith.

But when someone liberals think of as part of their collective questions PC doctrine in the slightest degree, that’s when the longest knives come out.

That’s why “neocon” is the worst epithet in the liberal vernacular. If someone goes what liberals refer to as “off the reservation”, then he’s not just one of those “unevolved” conservatives who never knew any better; he is a Fallen Angel – the liberal version of Satan.

logis on December 14, 2009 at 12:04 PM

I don’t get the Snowe/Collins bashing either. They represent Maine. They do what they think is right. It would be good if all the representatives in congress would ask themselves if they would be spending the money if it were their own household.

None of the people on capitol hill would run their households the way they run the government. In the private industry, people are losing jobs because the companies have to cut costs. In government, during this recession, they are increasing costs and adding positions.

The government doesn’t seem to care what things cost anymore. The only thing they can do is spend money, and that’s what they do.

ThackerAgency on December 14, 2009 at 12:20 PM

How about PA’s Bob Casey telling the local newspaper that a bill without strong pro-life language isn’t as important as beating Republicans.

“Even if the anti-abortion groups do not get exactly what they want, Casey said it is highly likely he will vote for the final bill because it is too important.

That would probably mean criticism from the anti-abortion groups, but Ross Baker, a Rutgers University political science professor who follows the Senate, said Casey’s support for the bill could give political cover to other wavering conservative Democrats because of abortion.

The health care bill points up Casey’s experience with Washington. Two years ago, he downplayed differences with Republicans, saying Congress was bipartisan more often than people think. He still thinks that, but not when it comes to health care.

“I reached a point a while ago … where in my own mind I’ve determined the Republicans want to do one thing: kill the bill,” he said. “And if they’re out to kill the bill, they’re opposing what I want and I want to beat them.”

Scranton on December 14, 2009 at 12:38 PM

I’m still shocked they retreated to a ‘compromise’ more destructive than the original legislation and fear for the coming months.

It’s great this bill is dead and it’s great the public option is dead. I just have a feeling they are willing to try one more time. I have faith Joe Lieberman will stand by his word on this and I don’t see reconciliation or the left’s hope of bringing a more radical bill together in conference bearing any fruit. I just don’t think anyone really knows what is next down the pike.

Remember, we now have bipartisan opposition to a bill a majority of voters oppose. Moderates are trending along GOP lines when it comes to Obama’s legislative agenda and rats tend to jump a sinking ship. Obama misread his mandate and no amount of feces throwing from the left can alter the center right nature of this country.

jhffmn on December 14, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Remember, we now have bipartisan opposition to a bill a majority of voters oppose. Moderates are trending along GOP lines when it comes to Obama’s legislative agenda and rats tend to jump a sinking ship. Obama misread his mandate and no amount of feces throwing from the left can alter the center right nature of this country.

jhffmn on December 14, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Heh. I love the “feces throwing from the left line” especially. That’s basically what they’re doing: acting like rabid monkeys or an insulent child. Truly appalling.

NathanG on December 14, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Dropping the age limit down to 55 will lead to the catastrophic failure of Medicare. I know, that is O’s plan.

Could the Republicans point this out by offering an amendment that repeals the Child Labor laws regarding what age you have to be in order to work? How else are you going to pay for it ? it is either start earlier in putting money in OR a huge increase in what they take out of your paycheck. Make the dems show who they are.

journeyintothewhirlwind on December 14, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Dropping the age limit down to 55 will lead to the catastrophic failure of Medicare. I know, that is O’s plan.

I agree. Isn’t closing the gaps in Medicare for the middle class, the ones who struggle because they don’t qualify while the poor do, what needs to be done all along? Why aren’t they doing that? Can anyone explain the situation to me on HotAir? I’m stupid, so I need a mentor! :)

NathanG on December 14, 2009 at 1:08 PM

You’re so proud of yourself for belching up months-old jokes. Hooray for you.
Now get back to drooling over that Lieberman poster over your bed.

Dave Rywall on December 14, 2009 at 10:49 AM

If you only knew how much pleasure we get from your adolescent meltdowns.

Chuck Schick on December 14, 2009 at 1:09 PM

If you only knew how much pleasure we get from your adolescent meltdowns.

Chuck Schick on December 14, 2009 at 1:09 PM

He’s Canadian. We don’t give a sh!t what he thinks!

NathanG on December 14, 2009 at 1:14 PM

It is not surprising to me that the democrat leadership has the same inability to hear what Lieberman has been saying all along, since they display the same deafness toward their constituents.
They simply do not hear anyone that does not agree with them.

n0doz on December 14, 2009 at 1:24 PM

It sounds as if this entire bill has become an abortion

Ed, this surprises me, coming from you. When you use the word abortion in that context, it seems as if you lessen that abortion is the taking of a human life. I cringe when I see or hear people refer to things as an “abortion”. Just saying.

bloggless on December 14, 2009 at 1:24 PM

You’re so proud of yourself for belching up months-old jokes. Hooray for you.
Now get back to drooling over that Lieberman poster over your bed.

Dave Rywall on December 14, 2009 at 10:49 AM

Dave, whatsa matta? Your behive ain’t setting just right?

bloggless on December 14, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Dave Rywall:

Tell me which of

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Communist_Manifesto

These things Obama is against, and which he is for..

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

DavidM on December 14, 2009 at 1:39 PM

IF Lieberman sticks by his guns (voting NO on cloture) and the the two Maine Senators hold firm, they ought to build a statue for them. The reason is the constituency in the Nutmeg State (yes many in Connecticut still consider themselves “Nutmeggers)) and in Maine (the people there jocularly call themselves Maine-iacs.)Maine and Connecticut are liberal states and a “no” vote does involve some political risk. Remember I said “IF”-allowing me wiggle room for a last second double cross (or bribe).

This is not just a governmental gambit for non-reversible bankruptcy and a lowering of health care standards to the level of Sudan(which it certainly is) but is, further, a socialistic cancer (which along will Cap and Trade) will allow the government to completely control and micro-manage our lives-from how we eat, breathe, assemble,receive medical treatment, work, sleep, drive and even have sex or play.

MaiDee on December 14, 2009 at 2:17 PM

Santa put a little Joe in my stocking this year. hehehe… Love it! He’s learned from the caucusing with the retards how to do the political punked and pawned job.

The Dave’s of the world are like that French kid in the movie Hancock where they’ll get up in your face all tough and stuff but the minute you come back at them in kind they wet their pants, cry like little babies until their mommies in the Democrat Party stick the binky back in their mouth so they have something to suck on.

Sultry Beauty on December 14, 2009 at 2:21 PM

The Dave’s of the world are like that French kid in the movie Hancock where they’ll get up in your face all tough and stuff but the minute you come back at them in kind they wet their pants, cry like little babies until their mommies in the Democrat Party stick the binky back in their mouth so they have something to suck on.

Sultry Beauty on December 14, 2009 at 2:21 PM

In other words, he went back to ThinkProgress and Daily Kos. :)

NathanG on December 14, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Reid may never get back to any government expansion.

Let’s pray, Ed and everyone. With this bunch, it is always “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

kscheuller on December 14, 2009 at 2:49 PM

http://blog.heritage.org/2009/12/14/morning-bell-the-battle-over-obamacares-obituary-has-begun/

CMMS -reports on Pelosi and Reids plans finally in and it isn’t pretty. Now we know why they were in a rush to pass a bill.

journeyintothewhirlwind on December 14, 2009 at 3:30 PM

Obama summons all Democrat senator to the WH for tomorrow.

“You vill vote for zis, or you vill be executed” –Obama

Schadenfreude on December 14, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Tell the class how Obama resembles Mao.

Dave Rywall on December 14, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Class??

I have little interest in your attempts to highjack the thread. How Maobama is like Mao would be complicated. The first place to start would be to, at least start in the same place for both lives.
A young Mao.. like a young Maobama, was brought up in the teachings of CommuMarxiSocialism.
Both believed that reality consisted of “the people” vs. “the system”. Both were community organizers.

Now grow up and try to stay on topic, please.

Itchee Dryback on December 14, 2009 at 4:51 PM

I just hope Joe sticks to his position. This bill needs to die a natural death. If a final vote can just be delayed until next year I think it is dead but if they get it pushed through before Christmas the fats in the fire.

duff65 on December 14, 2009 at 5:35 PM

The truly scary time is going to be between November and January of next year. People who’ve already been voted out of office aren’t going to think twice about ramming statism down our collective throats.

BadgerHawk on December 14, 2009 at 9:03 AM

I know, that is probably going tobe the most perilious time our country will ever know….

lovingmyUSA on December 14, 2009 at 5:52 PM

On this whole healthcare bill it feels like we are playing Russian Roulette with 5 of the 6 cylinders loaded.

GnuBreed on December 14, 2009 at 9:38 AM

Ok, that was all the excuse I needed to get out the whiskey…

lovingmyUSA on December 14, 2009 at 6:12 PM

JohnGalt23 on December 14, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Snow/Collins vs Lieberman/Spector–and to think the fate of our country hangs on this balance…

lovingmyUSA on December 14, 2009 at 6:22 PM

Speaking of Nelson, the problem of abortion payments has still not been resolved.

REALLY?! It’s been 36 years since Roe v. Wade, with a rainbow of new fool-proof birth control options, and people still can’t manage to prevent unwanted births? Too bad. They should pay the whole deal themselves, and not drag me into their disfunctional lives.

disa on December 14, 2009 at 6:48 PM