"Lieberman in 1994: Filibuster is ‘unfair’ and it isn’t ‘right’ to use it to obstruct major legislation."
In recent days, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has raised the ire of health care advocates by threatening to filibuster Senate health care legislation unless the public option is removed from it, a move that was a boon to the stock prices of major health insurance companies. Lieberman was singing a different tune in 1994, however. At that time Lieberman, a freshman senator, was working with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) to introduce legislation that would drastically weaken the power of the filiibuster. HuffPost’s Sam Stein recalls that the Connecticut senator said it was “unfair” to use the filibuster to threaten major legislation and argued it isn’t “right” to use it to obstruct progress:
“The whole process of individual senators being able to hold up legislation, which in a sense is an extension of the filibuster because the hold has been understood in one way to be a threat to filibuster — it’s just unfair.”
“I’m very proud to be standing here with Tom [Harkin] as two Democrats saying that we’re going to begin this fight, because we’ve just been stung by the filibuster for a period of years, and even though the tables have now turned, it doesn’t make it right for us to use this instrument that we so vilified.”