Lieberman Filibuster Threat Merely A Leverage Tactic?

November 3, 2009

(ChattahBox) — When Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman announced last week that he would join a filibuster of the Senate’s health care bill should it include the controversial “public option, most took him at his word.
But privately Lieberman has apparently signaled to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that he will not block a vote. Sources told The Hill that Lieberman has affirmed that he will vote with Democrats to end the debate, and his threat of filibuster is likely a leverage tactic, to win concessions for his constituents, which include several major insurance companies based in the state.

“Maybe he’s talking tough to get the public option watered down or he’s trying to get some stuff for himself on other topics or on other sections of the legislation,” the source added. “He’s basically trying to be a senator.”

Democrats need Lieberman’s support as he likely represents the necessary 60th vote that would end a a filibuster in the Senate, and many supporters of health-care reform say that he will vote with Democrats when the time comes, despite his statements to the contrary. When reporters asked Reid whether he could trust Lieberman, Reid said: “The answer is yes, I trust Sen. Joe Lieberman.”  Good luck with that.


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