Lieberman Says He’ll Filibuster Health Care Reform If Public Option Remains

Earlier this month, when blogger-activist Mike Stark asked Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) if his opposition to the public option meant that he would filibuster a health care reform bill that included one, Lieberman was non-committal, saying “we’ll see” while also warning that there’s a “danger in doing too much.”

In remarks to reporters today, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) moved closer to siding with Republicans and actively blocking reform. Lieberman gave a wishy-washy response, stating that while he was “inclined” to vote to allow health care reform legislation to be debated on the Senate floor, he would “vote against cloture” if “the bill stays as it is now.” TPMDC has Lieberman’s comments:

“I told Senator Reid that I’m strongly inclined — I haven’t totally decided, but I’m strongly inclined — to vote to proceed to the health care debate, even though I don’t support the bill that he’s bringing together because it’s important that we start the debate on health care reform because I want to vote for health care reform this year. But I also told him that if the bill remains what it is now, I will not be able to support a cloture motion before final passage. Therefore I will try to stop the passage of the bill.

Lieberman claims that he wants to “vote for health care reform this year” and that the public option is a sticking point for him. But he also opposed the Baucus bill, which did not contain a public option. Last week, he told NPR, “If I decide in the end the bill that is about to leave the Senate is gonna do more harm than good, then I won’t vote for cloture at that point.”


ThinkProgress previously produced a report titled “Joe Lieberman: The Progressive Who Lost His Way.” View it here.


Reid responded to Lieberman’s announcement by saying, “Joe Lieberman is the least of Harry Reid’s problem[s].”