Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Joe Lieberman will join GOP fillibuster of Reid health care plan

This just in from Politico:

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said Tuesday that he’d back a GOP filibuster of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s health care reform bill.
Lieberman, who caucuses with Democrats and is positioning himself as a fiscal hawk on the issue, said he opposes any health care bill that includes a government-run insurance program — even if it includes a provision allowing states to opt out of the program, as Reid’s has said the Senate bill will.
"We're trying to do too much at once," Lieberman said. “To put this government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for the national debt. I don’t think we need it now."
The only Republican on the Senate Finance Committee to vote for the Baucus plan, Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine doesn't like it either.
But Snowe cautioned her vote in favor of Baucus's plans was just her vote for that day and not a guarantee of future support. Indeed, as Reid acknowledged Monday afternoon, Snowe "doesn't like a public option of any kind." But, he hasn't given up on her, "There will be a time, I hope, when she sees the wisdom of supporting a health-care bill" that includes a public option.
During questioning from reporters about the prospects for bipartisan support, Reid replied, "I'm always looking for Republicans. It's just hard to find them." He said he can count the moderate Republicans in the Senate on two fingers. When it comes to health care, finding even those votes may have just gotten a lot harder.
Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln and Mary Landrieu are also questionable.

One Democrat critical of the public option, Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson, has said he wouldn’t support legislation without Republican votes.
“I certainly am not excited about a public option where states would opt out,” Nelson said on CNN’S “State of the Union” program on Oct. 25. He said he prefers letting states decide to opt in. (snip)

Two other Democrats, Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln and Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, have criticized the public option. Landrieu said last week she’s hopeful for compromise. Lincoln says she might join with Republicans to block debate on legislation she didn’t support. 
The confident bravado of Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, seems to be wilting a bit with each passing day.

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