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December 18th, 2009
11:24 AM ET

Franken takes on Lieberman as tensions builds in Senate

Evan Glass
CNN Congressional Prodcuer

Tensions stemming from the prolonged debate on health care flared Thursday afternoon when Democratic Sen. Al Franken, who was the presiding officer, refused to let Sen. Joe Lieberman finish his speech on the senate floor.

Lieberman, the bane of the Democratic Party's liberal base because of his opposition to creating a public option and expanding Medicare, was speaking about preserving the Medicare trust fund.

After his allotted ten minutes, Lieberman – an independent from Connecticut who sits with the Democratic caucus – asked for more time to finish his speech, a request customarily granted in the venerable chamber.

"In my capacity as the senator from Minnesota, I object," replied
Franken.

"Really?" Lieberman asked, seeming surprised by the rejection. "Okay," he continued with a chuckle, "I don't take it personally."

Immediately following the exchange, Lieberman's closest Republican ally, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, came to his defense.

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Filed under: Health Care
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Tarrie Franke

    I am sick of Lieberman. He supported the expansion of medicare for 55 yo and above in the Fall and now he's against it. Strip him of his committee leadership posts. If you want to be a Republican, go be one. He's up for re election and I for will will be putting my money where my mouth is. Bring on the opposition.
    Tarrie Franke

    December 18, 2009 at 12:26 pm |