Lieberman Threatens Filibuster Over Public Option

Independent's warning is bad news for Harry Reid
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2009 2:08 PM CDT
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

(Newser) – Joe Lieberman doesn't want a public option, and he warned today that he would join a Republican filibuster to try to prevent one from becoming law. The statement by the Democrat-turned-independent is bad news for Harry Reid's prospects of getting 60 votes in the Senate. Lieberman said he told Reid "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."

His main beef is with the public option, reports Talking Points Memo. "I think a lot of people may think that the public option is free. It's not. It's going to cost the taxpayers and people who have health insurance now, and if it doesn't it's going to add terribly to the national debt." He said he likes much of the legislation but objects to the addition of a "Washington-based entitlement program."