Dodd And Lieberman: The Tale Of Two Connecticut Senators
Roll Call reports that the two longtime Connecticut Senators, Democrat Chris Dodd and Independent Joe Lieberman, are at "near-opposite ends of a health care debate that amounts to Congress' biggest undertaking in a generation." The relationship between to the two lawmakers was strained in 2008, when Dodd ran for president, but Lieberman supported Republican John McCain. In 2006, Lieberman left the Democratic Party after losing a primary race and Dodd endorsed his challenger.
"Dodd and Lieberman could end up voting for the same health care package regardless of their differences. Although liberal, Dodd is also pragmatic and has often supported legislation that can pass even if it is less comprehensive than he would like. Lieberman is expected to ultimately side with the Democratic Conference unless he is part of a group of moderates who is unified in resistance. Neither Senator enjoys high approval ratings at home, and in fact Dodd might benefit with his Democratic base by taking a different tack than Lieberman on health care" (Drucker, 10/26).
Lieberman, "one of a handful of Senate wild cards in this fall's healthcare reform debate, says his concern about the Senate bill is based on the national deficit - not the insurers that dominate his state," The Hill reports. He dispelled speculation that large insurers in his state have compelled him to resist Democrat-authored health overhaul bills. He recalled that he had sued insurers as his state's attorney general, and said he is willing to bring an end to insurers' anti-trust exemptions, another idea lawmakers have floated recently (Rushing, 10/26).