Report: Lieberman Won’t Filibuster Health Care After All


“Sources” close to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told The Hill yesterday that Reid is expecting Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) to vote with the Democratic majority to close debate and move to a final vote when Reid’s health care bill hits the Senate floor. Lieberman’s public promises to join a GOP filibuster of the bill because it contains a public option are just his attempt to influence the final bill, the sources told the newspaper — in reality, Lieberman is not a threat to an up or down vote on health care reform.

One Reid source, from The Hill‘s report:

“Lieberman keeps assuring Reid that he’s OK…But he’s one of those characters — you never know with Joe.”

Lieberman’s official spokesperson denied the claim from Reid’s office when the The Hill called. But the paper reports “connected” progressives inside the beltway share Reid’s take. “Activists and liberal bloggers” have “seethed” over Lieberman’s public comments because they are “out of the loop” on his actual thinking, the paper reports.The paper reports that even as Lieberman has ramped up his public rhetoric about a filibuster of the health care reform bill, Reid has been telling progressives in D.C. not to worry about the Independent senator. The message appears to have been received.

From the report:

“At the end of the day Sen. Lieberman will vote to cut off debate,” said Richard Kirsch, national campaign manager of Healthcare for America Now, a coalition of liberal and labor groups. “He’ll do what he has to do. He’s making a lot of noise.”

If Lieberman’s filibuster threats aren’t real, why does he continue to make them? More “sources” give The Hill one answer:

Sources attribute Lieberman’s public declaration of opposition as an effort to win concessions for his constituents, which include several major insurance companies based in the state.