January 3, 1989
Serving with Christopher Dodd
|Preceded by||Lowell P. Weicker, Jr.|
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs
January 3 – January 20, 2001
|Preceded by||Fred Thompson|
|Succeeded by||Fred Thompson|
June 6, 2001 – January 3, 2003
|Preceded by||Fred Thompson|
|Succeeded by||Susan Collins|
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
January 4, 2007
|Preceded by||Susan Collins|
|Governor||William A. O'Neill|
|Preceded by||Carl R. Ajello|
|Succeeded by||Clarine Nardi Riddle|
|Born||February 24, 1942
|Political party||Independent Democrat
Caucuses with Democrats in Senate
|Spouse(s)||1) Elizabeth Haas (div.)
2) Hadassah Lieberman
|Residence||New Haven, Connecticut|
|Alma mater||Yale University (B.A.)
Yale Law School (LL.B.)
|Website||Joe Lieberman United States Senator|
Joseph Isadore "Joe" Lieberman (born February 24, 1942) is the junior United States Senator from Connecticut. First elected to the Senate in 1988, Lieberman was elected to a fourth term on November 7, 2006. In the 2000 United States presidential election, Lieberman was the Democratic nominee for Vice President, running with presidential nominee Al Gore, becoming the first Jewish candidate on a major American political party presidential ticket. The Gore–Lieberman ticket won the popular vote but ultimately failed to gain the electoral votes needed to win the controversial election. Lieberman ran for re-election to the U.S. Senate while he was also Gore's running mate, and he was re-elected by the voters of Connecticut. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 2004 presidential election.
During his re-election bid in 2006, he lost the Democratic Party primary election but won re-election in the general election as a third party candidate under the party label "Connecticut for Lieberman." Lieberman has been officially listed in Senate records for the 110th and 111th Congresses as an "Independent Democrat" and sits as part of the Senate Democratic Caucus. But since his speech at the 2008 Republican National Convention in which he endorsed John McCain for president, Lieberman no longer attends Democratic Caucus leadership strategy meetings or policy lunches. On November 5, 2008, Lieberman met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to discuss his future role with the Democratic Party. Ultimately, the Senate Democratic Caucus voted to allow Lieberman to keep chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Subsequently, Lieberman announced that he will continue to caucus with the Democrats.
Lieberman remains a registered Democrat. He was one of the Senate's strongest advocates for continued prosecution of the war in Iraq. He is also an outspoken supporter of the U.S.-Israel relationship. On domestic issues, he strongly supports free trade economics while reliably voting for pro-trade union legislation. He has also opposed filibustering Republican judicial appointments. With Lynne Cheney and others, Lieberman co-founded American Council of Trustees and Alumni in 1995. Lieberman is a supporter of abortion rights and the rights of gays and lesbians to adopt children and be protected with hate crime legislation. Lieberman is one of the Senate's leading opponents of violence in video games and on television. Lieberman describes himself as being "genuinely an Independent," saying "I agree more often than not with Democrats on domestic policy. I agree more often than not with Republicans on foreign and defense policy."
Lieberman's approval rating in a poll taken January 4–5, 2010, was 25% approve versus 67% who disapprove, making him one of the least popular Senators currently in office.
Lieberman was born in Stamford, Connecticut, the son of Marcia (née Manger) and Henry Lieberman. He received a dual Bachelor of Arts in political science and economics from Yale University in 1964 and was the first member of his family to graduate from college. At Yale he was editor of the Yale Daily News and a member of the Elihu Club. He later attended Yale Law School, receiving his law degree in 1967. After graduation from law school, Lieberman worked as a lawyer for the New Haven-based law firm Wiggin & Dana LLP.
A spokesperson told The Hartford Courant in 1994 that Lieberman received an educational deferment from the Vietnam War draft when he was an undergraduate and law student from 1960 to 1967. Upon graduating from law school at age 25, Lieberman qualified for a family deferment because he was already married and had one child, Matt.
Lieberman met his first wife, Betty Haas, at the congressional office of Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D-CT), where they worked as summer student interns. They married in 1965 while Joe Lieberman was in law school. They had two children – Matt and Rebecca. Betty, who is also Jewish, later worked as a psychiatric social worker. In 1981, the couple divorced. When asked about the divorce in an interview with New York Magazine, Lieberman said, "one of the differences we had was in levels of religious observance," adding, "I'm convinced if that was the only difference, we wouldn't have gotten divorced."
In 1982, he met his second wife, Hadassah Freilich Tucker, while he was running for Attorney General of Connecticut. Hadassah Lieberman is the child of a Holocaust survivor. According to Washington Jewish Week, Lieberman called her for a date because he thought it would be interesting to go out with someone named Hadassah. (Hadassah is the name of the Women's Zionist Organization of America). Since March 2005, Hadassah Lieberman has worked for Hill & Knowlton, a lobbying firm based in New York City, as a senior counselor in its health and pharmaceuticals practice. She has held senior positions at the Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven, the American Committee for Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International (APCO), Pfizer, National Research Council, Hoffmann-La Roche, and Lehman Brothers.
Joe and Hadassah Lieberman have a daughter, Hani. Lieberman also has a stepson from Hadassah's previous marriage, Ethan Tucker. Matt Lieberman graduated from Yale University in 1989, and from Yale Law School in 1994. He is former Head of School of Greenfield Hebrew Academy in Atlanta, GA. Rebecca Lieberman graduated from Barnard College in 1991, and from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1997. She is married to Jacob Wisse. Ethan Tucker, son of Gordon Tucker, graduated from Harvard College in 1997 and received his rabbinic ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Lieberman is also related to Disney Channel star Raviv Ullman of Phil of the Future.
Lieberman describes himself as an "observant" Jew. In 1965 he married Betty Haas, a Reform Jew. Since the death in 1967 of Lieberman's grandmother, a deeply religious immigrant, he found renewed interest in religious observance. His second wife, Hadassah, is also an observant Orthodox Jew. "Hadassah calls herself my right wing," says Lieberman. In Lieberman's 1988 upset of Republican Party incumbent Senator Lowell Weicker, his religious observance was mostly viewed in terms of inability to campaign on Shabbat. This changed when Gore chose Lieberman as the running mate; a Lieberman press officer who spoke on condition of anonymity said:
"He refers to himself as observant, as opposed to Orthodox, because he doesn't follow the strict Orthodox code and doesn't want to offend the Orthodox, and his wife feels the same way."
Lieberman has said that there is currently "a constitutional place for faith in our public life", and that the Constitution does not provide for "freedom from religion." He attends Kesher Israel Congregation in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. and Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol - B'nai Israel, The Westville Synagogue, New Haven, Connecticut. He also attends Congregation Agudath Sholom in Stamford.
He was the first observant Jew to run on a major party Presidential ticket. (1964 Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater's father was Jewish, but Sen. Goldwater's mother was an Episcopalian, and the Senator practiced his mother's faith.)
Lieberman was elected as a "reform Democrat" to the Connecticut Senate in 1970, where he served for 10 years, including the last six as Majority Leader. He suffered his first defeat in Connecticut elections in the Reagan landslide year of 1980, losing the race for the Third District Congressional seat to Republican Lawrence Joseph DeNardis, a state senator from suburban Hamden with whom he had worked closely on bipartisan legislative efforts. From 1983 to 1989, he served as Connecticut Attorney General and emphasized consumer protection and environmental enforcement.
In 1988, Lieberman defeated moderate Republican Lowell Weicker to win election to the United States Senate and was re-elected in 1994 and 2000. Like Bill Clinton and Dick Gephardt, Lieberman served as chair of the Democratic Leadership Council.
Lieberman was first elected to the United States Senate as a Democrat in the 1988 election, by a margin of 10,000 votes. He scored the nation's biggest political upset that year, after being backed by a coalition of Democrats and unaffiliated voters with support from conservative Republicans, who were disappointed in three-term Republican incumbent Lowell Weicker's moderate voting record and personal style. During the campaign, he received support from the Connecticut's Cuban-American community which was unhappy with Weicker. Lieberman has since remained firmly anti-Castro. Six years later, Lieberman made history by winning by the largest landslide ever in a Connecticut Senate race, drawing 67 percent of the vote and beating his opponent by more than 350,000 votes.
In 1998, Lieberman was the first prominent Democrat to publicly challenge Bill Clinton for the judgment exercised in his affair with Monica Lewinsky. However, he voted against removing Clinton from office by impeachment. In 2000, while concurrently running for the vice presidency, Lieberman was elected to a third Senate term with 64 percent of the vote easily defeating the Republican Philip Giordano.
When control of the Senate switched from Republicans to Democrats in June 2001, Lieberman became Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, with oversight responsibilities for a broad range of government activities. He was also a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee and chair of its Subcommittee Clean Air, Wetlands and Private Property; the Armed Services Committee, where he chaired the Airland Subcommittee and sat on the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities; and the Small Business Committee. When Republicans gained control of the Senate in January 2003, Lieberman resumed his role as ranking minority member of the committees he had once chaired.
In the 110th Congress, Lieberman is Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which is responsible for assuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the Federal Government. In addition, he is a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee; Senate Armed Services Committee, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Air Land Forces and sits on the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities; and the Small Business Committee.
In August 2000, Lieberman was selected as the nominee for Vice President of the United States by Al Gore, the Democratic Party nominee for President. Lieberman was the first Jewish candidate on a major political party ticket. The announcement of Lieberman's selection was unusual in that it did not cause a positive "bump" in the Gore campaign's poll numbers according to a Newsweek poll done at the time.. Polling also indicated that Lieberman had badly lost his televised debate against Dick Cheney, leading some to suggest later that Gore had lost the election due to choosing Lieberman as his running mate
The Gore/Lieberman ticket won a plurality of the popular vote, with over half a million more votes than the Republican ticket of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, but they were defeated in the Electoral College by a vote of 271 to 266.
Like Democratic VP candidates Lyndon B. Johnson in 1960, Lloyd Bentsen in 1988, John Edwards in 2004, and Joe Biden in 2008, Lieberman's Senate term was due to expire during the election cycle. He decided to run for reelection to maintain his seat, as Johnson, Bentsen and Biden did. All four won, but since Johnson and Biden were also elected Vice-President, they gave up their seats.
Describing his Presidential hopes, Lieberman opined that his historically hawkish stance would appeal to voters. Indeed he initially led in polls of primaries, but due to his political positions he failed to win a support of liberal Democratic voters, who dominated the primaries.
Prior to his defeat in New Hampshire, Lieberman famously declared his campaign was picking up "Joementum"; however, he failed to provide such momentum during the New Hampshire Primary debates, held at Saint Anselm College days before the primary. On February 3, 2004, Lieberman withdrew his candidacy after failing to win any of the five primaries or two caucuses held that day. He acknowledged to the Hartford Courant that his support for the war in Iraq was a large part of his undoing with voters.
Lieberman's former running candidate Al Gore did not support Lieberman's Presidential run, and in December 2003 endorsed Howard Dean's candidacy, saying "This is about all of us and all of us need to get behind the strongest candidate [Dean]."
Finally Lieberman withdrew from the race without winning a single contest. In total popular vote he placed 7th behind eventual nominee, Massachusetts senator John Kerry, future Vice Presidential nominee, North Carolina Senator John Edwards, former Governor of Vermont Howard Dean, Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich, retired General Wesley Clark and Reverend Al Sharpton.
Lieberman was officially endorsed by the Connecticut Democratic Convention, which met in May. However, Lamont received 33 percent of the delegates' votes, forcing an August primary.
In July, Lieberman announced that he would file papers to appear on the November ballot should he lose the primary, stating, "I'm a loyal Democrat, but I have loyalties that are greater than those to my party, and that's my loyalty to my state and my country." He stated that he would continue to sit as a Democrat in the Senate even if he was defeated in the primary and elected on an unaffiliated line, and expressed concern for a potentially low turnout. On July 10, the Lieberman campaign officially filed paperwork allowing him to collect signatures for the newly formed Connecticut for Lieberman party ballot line.
On August 8, 2006, Lieberman conceded the Democratic primary election to Ned Lamont, saying, "For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot and will not let that result stand," and announced he would run in the 2006 November election as an independent candidate on the Connecticut for Lieberman ticket, against both Lamont and the Republican candidate, Alan Schlesinger.
Polls after the primary showed Lieberman ahead of Ned Lamont by 5 points. Later polls showed Lieberman leading by varying margins. Alan Schlesinger barely registered support and his campaign had run into problems based on alleged gambling debts.
On August 9, 2006, Hillary Clinton affirmed her pledge to support the primary winner, saying "voters of Connecticut have made their decision and I think that decision should be respected", and Howard Dean called for Lieberman to quit the race, saying he was being "disrespectful of Democrats and disrespectful of the Democratic Party".
|“||If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out [of Iraq] by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England. It will strengthen them and they will strike again.||”|
Lamont noted Lieberman's position was similar to George W. Bush's and Dick Cheney's position. Lamont said, “That comment sounds an awful lot like Vice President Cheney’s comment on Wednesday. Both of them believe our invasion of Iraq has a lot to do with 9/11. That’s a false premise.” Lieberman's communications director replied that Lamont was politicizing national security by "portraying [Lieberman] as a soul mate of President Bush on Iraq".
On August 17, 2006 the National Republican Senatorial Committee stated that they would favor a Lieberman victory in the November election over Democratic nominee Ned Lamont. The NRSC did state, however, that they were not going so far as to actually support Lieberman.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani praised Lieberman at a South Carolina campaign stop on August 18, saying he was "a really exceptional senator." Other Republican supporters of Lieberman included Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, former Representative and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Jack Kemp, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Senator Susan Collins of Maine.
Five Democratic Senators maintained their support for Lieberman, and Lieberman also received the strong support of former Senator and Democratic stalwart Bob Kerrey, who offered to stump for him. Democratic minority leader Harry Reid, while endorsing Lamont, promised Lieberman that he would retain his committee positions and seniority if he prevailed in the general election.
On August 28, Lieberman campaigned at the same motorcycle rally as Republican Congressman Christopher Shays. Shays told a crowd of motorcycle enthusiasts, "We have a national treasure in Joe Lieberman."
Mel Sembler, a former Republican National Committee finance chairman, helped organize a reception that raised a "couple hundred thousand dollars" for Lieberman, who was personally in attendance. Sembler is a prominent Republican who chaired I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby's legal defense fund. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a fundraiser for Lieberman at his home in November, co-hosted by former mayor Ed Koch and former Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato. Koch called Lieberman "one of the greatest Senators we've ever had in the Senate."
Despite still considering himself a Democrat, Lieberman was endorsed by numerous Republicans who actively spoke out in favor of his candidacy, such as conservative political commentators Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. Lieberman was also the focus of websites such as ConservativesforLieberman06.com.
On November 7, Lieberman won re-election with 49.7% of the vote. Ned Lamont garnered 40% of ballots cast and Alan Schlesinger won 10%. Lieberman received support from 33% of Democrats, 54% of independents and 70% of Republicans.
Following the election, Lieberman struck a deal with Democratic leadership allowing him to keep his seniority and chairmanship of the Governmental Affairs Committee. In return, he agreed to vote with the Democrats on all procedural matters unless he asked permission of Majority Whip Richard Durbin. He is free to vote as he pleases on policy matters. Along with Bernie Sanders, Lieberman's caucusing with the Democrats gave them a 51-49 majority in the Senate, leaving a slim one Senator majority to control the Senate in the 110th Congress.
On December 17, 2007, Lieberman endorsed Republican Senator John McCain for president in 2008, contradicting his stance in July 2006 where he stated "I want Democrats to be back in the majority in Washington and elect a Democratic president in 2008." Lieberman cited his agreement with McCain's stance on the War on Terrorism as the primary reason for the endorsement.
On June 5, Lieberman launched "Citizens for McCain," hosted on the McCain campaign website, to recruit Democratic support for John McCain's candidacy. He emphasized the group's outreach to supporters of Hillary Clinton, who was at that time broadly expected to lose the Democratic presidential nomination to Barack Obama. Citizens for McCain was prominently featured in McCain team efforts to attract disgruntled Hillary Clinton supporters such as Debra Bartoshevich.
Lieberman spoke at the 2008 Republican National Convention on behalf of McCain and his running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Lieberman was alongside McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham during a visit to French president Nicolas Sarkozy on March 21, 2008. Lieberman was mentioned as a possible Vice Presidential nominee on a McCain ticket, although Lieberman had denied interest. ABC News reported that Lieberman was McCain's first choice for Vice President until several days before the selection, when McCain had decided that picking Lieberman would alienate the conservative base of the Republican Party, due to his left-of-center positions on social issues. Lieberman had been mentioned as a possible Secretary of State under a McCain administration.
Many Democrats wanted Lieberman to be stripped of his chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs due to his support for John McCain. Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reached out to Lieberman, asking him to caucus with the Republicans. Ultimately, the Senate Democratic Caucus voted 42 to 13 to allow Lieberman to keep chairmanship (although he did lose his membership for the Environment and Public Works Committee). Subsequently, Lieberman announced that he will continue to caucus with the Democrats. Lieberman credited President-elect Barack Obama for helping him keep his chairmanship. Obama had privately urged Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid not to remove Lieberman from his position. Reid stated that Lieberman's criticism of Obama during the election angered him, but that "if you look at the problems we face as a nation, is this a time we walk out of here saying, 'Boy did we get even'?" Senator Tom Carper of Delaware also credited the Democrats' decision on Lieberman to Obama's support, stating that "If Barack can move on, so can we."
Liberal members of the Democratic caucus were reportedly angry at the decision to not punish Lieberman more severely. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont (who is also an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats) stated that he voted against Lieberman "because while millions of people worked hard for Obama, Lieberman actively worked for four more years of President Bush's policies."
Lieberman's embrace of certain conservative policies and in particular his endorsement of John McCain have been cited as factors for his low approval rating in Connecticut: 38 approval to 54 disapproval. "This is the highest disapproval rating in any Quinnipiac University poll in any state for a sitting U.S. Senator — except for New Jersey's Robert Torricelli, just before he resigned in 2002. Among those who say they voted for Sen. Lieberman in 2006, 30 percent now say they would vote for someone else if they could." 
Since 1989, Lieberman has received more than $31.4 million in campaign donations from specific industries and sectors. His largest donors have represented the securities and investment ($3.7 million), legal ($3.6 million), real estate ($3.1 million) and health professional ($1.1 million) industries.
Overall Lieberman has a pro-choice voting record, and in 2007 he received a grade of 100 from the abortion rights organization NARAL Pro-Choice America. While running in the Democratic primaries in the 2004 presidential election, Lieberman said that as president he would "follow a policy that makes abortion safe, rare and legal."
In a 1995 speech before the National Press Club, Lieberman said, "this business of deciding by group, the argument that some make that some groups are genetically less able than others. That's an un-American argument." Affirmative action programs "must change because they are inconsistent with the law and basic American values of equal treatment and opportunity." He also stated that he was "against group preferences".
In 1996, he expressed support for California's Proposition 209, which will eliminate state and local government affirmative action programs in the areas of public employment, public education, and public contracting to the extent these programs involve "preferential treatment based on race, sex, gender, color, ethnicity, or national origin." "Affirmative action is dividing us in ways its creators could never have intended.", he said.
Since 2000, he rescinded his support for the proposition, saying that he expressed support "without understand[ing] the intent of Proposition 209", and renounced any support for Proposition 209. In the 2000 campaign, Lieberman assured the black voters, "I have supported affirmative action, I do support affirmative action, and I will support affirmative action because history and current reality make it necessary."
In 2003, Lieberman criticized Bush's affirmative action policy. In 2004, he reiterated his support, "I support affirmative action programs, including in appropriate instances consideration of race and gender in government contracting decisions, when the affirmative action program is designed to remedy the effects of past discrimination."
Lieberman has stated he wants to increase subsidies for women-owned non-profit business, and he voted yes on setting aside 10% of highway funds for companies owned by minorities and women without regard to the demographics of their employees.
Lieberman was one of four Senate Democrats to side with Republicans in 1995 in voting to limit punitive damage awards in product liability cases.
In February 2005, breaking ranks with fellow Senate Democrats, Lieberman voted for the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, S. 5, which is a bill to curtail the ability of plaintiffs to file class action lawsuits against corporations in federal courts. The bill was backed by the White House and business groups as an essential tort reform measure that would reduce what they said was a debilitating number of frivolous lawsuits. The bill was opposed by consumer advocacy groups and trial lawyers who argued that many valid claims against corporations would be dismissed, leaving consumers without legal recourse.
Lieberman championed experimental voucher programs, which would redirect some education funding directly to parents, who could apply it towards paying for the public or private school of their choice.
Lieberman has called Bush's No Child Left Behind Act plan a "progressive piece of legislation" which has been insufficiently funded. He said, "A month after he signed the law, President Bush under funded it by $6 billion less than was promised in the legislation. This is creating greater pressures on our schools to perform and educate our kids — which is appropriate — but without giving them sufficient resources to make it happen." He has repeatedly criticized the administration to this effect.
With Lynne Cheney, Richard Lamm, Saul Bellow, and others, Lieberman co-founded the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), a controversial educational organization which released the post-9/11 report titled "Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America and What Can Be Done About It" that criticized universities for evidence of anti-Americanism.
Lieberman has been critical of the entertainment media. On November 29, 2005, Lieberman co-sponsored the Family Entertainment Protection Act, which was introduced by Hillary Clinton, S.2126. The act is intended to protect children from what he says is inappropriate content found in video games. He has denounced the violence contained in video games and has attempted to regulate sales of violent video games to minors, arguing that games should have to be labeled based upon age-appropriateness. Regarding Grand Theft Auto, he said "The player is rewarded for attacking a woman, pushing her to the ground, kicking her repeatedly and then ultimately killing her, shooting her over and over again. I call on the entertainment companies — they've got a right to do that, but they have a responsibility not to do it if we want to raise the next generation of our sons to treat women with respect". He voted for the Communications Decency Act.
Lieberman co-sponsored the Clean Air Act (1990), introduced legislation in 1991 to give consumers more information about the dangers of pesticides, and has addressed the need to limit global warming.
Lieberman has stated that the US population has to accept responsibility for global warming, and voted "yes" on banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Lieberman voted yes on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025 (instead of 5%). Lieberman voted against Gale Norton as Secretary of Interior, and voted for funding for greater risk assessment by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Lieberman has even gone as far as saying he wants to raise mileage standard to 40 mpg. Lieberman voted for the administration-backed Energy Policy Act of 2005; facing criticism, Lieberman called the bill imperfect but good for Connecticut, citing a saving of $800 million for Connecticut electricity customers. Lieberman has been a vocal critic of Bush's environmental policy.
Also more commonly referred to as the Cap and Trade Bill, proposed to ration (cap) carbon emissions in the U.S., and tax or purchase (trade) Carbon credits on the global market for greater U.S. alignment with the Kyoto protocol standards and goals. The bill (as reported in the Senate) was 550 pages long, and provided for establishment of a federal bureau of Carbon Trading, Regulation, and Enforcement.
On May 23, 2005, Lieberman was one of fourteen senators, dubbed the Gang of 14, who forged a compromise on the Democrats' use of the judicial filibuster, thus avoiding the Republican leadership's implementation of the so-called nuclear option. Under the agreement, the Democrats would exercise the power to filibuster a Bush judicial nominee only in an extraordinary circumstance, and three of the filibustered Bush appellate court nominees – (Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen and William Pryor) – would receive a vote by the full Senate, which resulted in their confirmation. Lieberman refused to support a filibuster against Supreme Court Justice nominee Samuel Alito. Alito was confirmed by the United States Senate on January 31, 2006 by a vote of 58-42, becoming the Court's 110th Justice. Lieberman voted against the Alito confirmation in the final Senate vote. On the John Roberts nomination as the Chief Justice of the United States, Lieberman believed that Roberts did not seem to be the kind of right-wing candidate the Gang of 14 feared the president would select. Lieberman said he thought Roberts was a decent guy. But he also said it was too early to draw further conclusions. Roberts was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 29, 2005, by a vote of 78–22, becoming the Court's 17th Chief Justice. Lieberman voted for the Roberts confirmation.
Lieberman voted no on a constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. In 2003, in response to the Massachusetts ruling that sanctions gay marriage, Lieberman stated "although I am opposed to gay marriage, I have also long believed that states have the right to adopt for themselves laws that allow same-sex unions", and "I will oppose any attempts by the right wing to change the Constitution in response to today's Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling, which would be unnecessary and divisive".
Lieberman is currently cosponsoring the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations act of 2009, which will provide the same benefits to same-sex domestic partners of federal employees as spouses currently have. In 1996, Lieberman cosponsored the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Lieberman has adopted a non-discriminatory policy in employment decisions, which include sexual orientation and gender. However, he supported the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996 and Don't ask, don't tell in 1993.
In August 1994, Jesse Helms (R-NC) and Bob Smith (R-NH) proposed an amendment, S.AMDT.2434, to Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization (ESEA) - S.1513 - that would prevent federal funding for schools that "implement or carry out a program or activity that has either the purpose or effect of encouraging or supporting homosexuality as a positive lifestyle". Lieberman voted for the amendment. He voted against a measure to grant domestic partner benefits to District of Columbia employees.
Lieberman received an "F" rating from the National Rifle Association and a 90% from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. He has sought to ban guns in schools and places of worship. He has voted against prohibiting most lawsuits against gun manufacturers, but cast another vote that would immunize gun manufacturers from lawsuits over gun violence. He has voted to require background checks at gun shows and against allowing guns to be sold without trigger locks.
Lieberman voted in favor of the Early Treatment for HIV Act of 2003, which provided Medicaid treatment for people with HIV. He also voted for prohibiting HIV-positive immigrants from entering the United States.
In March 2006, according to the The New Haven Register, when asked about the approach of Catholic hospitals on contraceptives for rape victims, Lieberman said he believed that Catholic hospitals that refuse to give contraceptives to rape victims for "principled reasons" shouldn’t be forced to do so. "In Connecticut, it shouldn’t take more than a short ride to get to another hospital," he said.
During his 2004 campaign, Lieberman said, "The day I walk into the Oval Office, the first thing I'm going to do is rescind the Bush administration restrictions on embryonic stem cell research." In 2006, he criticized Bush's veto of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005.
In 2005, Lieberman, along with Republicans Orrin Hatch and Sam Brownback, introduced S. 975, the Project BioShield II Act of 2005. Its stated purpose was to provide incentives to increase research by private sector entities to develop medical countermeasures to counter bioterrorism threats. The bill would have provided tax credits, patent extensions, and immunity from civil liability.
Lieberman is a co-sponsor of the Healthy Americans Act.
In 2009, Lieberman is opposed to a "public option" and stated he would side with Republicans and filibuster any attempt to pass major health legislation that includes one. Lieberman confirmed on December 13, 2009 he will not vote for the Senate Health care bill in its current form, reportedly informing Majority Leader Harry Reid directly that he would filibuster any attempt to pass health care with a public option or an expansion of Medicare coverage. Lieberman, however, supported the expansion of Medicare as a part of the 2000 Democratic presidential platform and as recently as September 2009. Since the beginning of 2005, Lieberman has received over $930,000 in campaign contributions from the health sector. He ranks 75th out of 100 senators for percentage of contributions from corporate PACs. Reid later remarked to Senate colleagues, "They don't call him Joe Gun for nothing."
Lieberman has been a supporter of the H1-B Visa Program, which allows employers to import "skilled" workers for employment in the US. In 2007, Lieberman and Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) proposed raising the yearly cap for such visas from 65,000 to 115,000, with provisions to allow future yearly quotas as high as 180,000.
Lieberman cosponsored a resolution urging the Congress to reject the Bush Administration Social Security Commission's report.
Regarding the debate over privatizing Social Security, Lieberman said, "this is an ongoing problem, and we'd be wise to deal with it." He told The Hartford Courant in January 2005 when asked about Social Security, "if we can figure out a way to help people through private accounts or something else, great." Although Lieberman praised Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for trying to fashion a bipartisan social security plan, he ultimately voted against the Bush Social Security plan.
Lieberman has toyed with the idea of switching his affiliation to Republican, especially if Senate Democrats go what he sees as too far in ending the War in Iraq. In the 110th Congress, such a switch would have left the Senate equally divided, with Vice President Dick Cheney holding the tie-breaking vote.
He helped defeat the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) proposal of requiring the reporting of the costs of stock options as a business expense during the mid-nineties. During an interview with PBS after the Enron scandal, Lieberman defended his position, saying, "it was a good action." Facing the growing stock option scandals, Lieberman ackowledged that "clearly a disproportionate percent of the options went to a small percentage of executives. That was disappointing."
At the 20 July launching of the 2004 Committee on the Present Danger, Joe Lieberman and Senator Jon Kyl were identified as the honorary co-chairs. The Committee on the Present Danger (CPD) is a hawkish "advocacy organization" first founded in 1950 and re-formed in 1976 to push for larger defense budgets and arms buildups, to counter the Soviet Union.
Senator Lieberman is a member of the Congressional Cuba Democracy Caucus
Lieberman defended his support of the Iraq Resolution; in a November 29, 2005 op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal, he praised the efforts of the U.S. military in the occupation of Iraq and criticized both parties:
"I am disappointed by Democrats who are more focused on how President Bush took America into the war in Iraq almost three years ago, and by Republicans who are more worried about whether the war will bring them down in next November's elections, than they are concerned about how we continue the progress in Iraq in the months and years ahead."
Later, on December 7, 2005, Lieberman said, "It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be Commander-in-Chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation’s peril. It is time for Republicans in the White House and Congress who distrust Democrats to acknowledge that greater Democratic involvement and support in the war in Iraq is critical to rebuilding the support of the American people that is essential to our success in that war. It is time for Americans and we their leaders to start working together again on the war on terrorism. To encourage that new American partnership, I propose that the President and the leadership of Congress establish a bipartisan Victory in Iraq Working Group, composed of members of both parties in Congress and high ranking national security officials of the Bush Administration."
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid expressed disappointment with Lieberman, saying, "I've talked to Senator Lieberman, and unfortunately he is at a different place on Iraq than the majority of the American people." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi added, "I completely disagree with Lieberman. I believe that we have a responsibility to speak out if we think that the course of action that our country is not making the American people safer, making our military stronger and making the region more stable." Lieberman responded, "I've had this position for a long time – that we need to finish the job."
Lieberman's defense of the administration resulted in speculation that he was attempting to position himself to replace Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld or another high-ranking government official, but Lieberman has denied having any desire for this. In 2005, media reports suggested that Lieberman might replace Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld; Lieberman responded with, "It's a total fantasy, there's just no truth to it."
On June 22, 2006, Lieberman voted against two Democratic amendments to the annual defense appropriations bill, including S. 2766, which called for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. S.2766 did not set a withdrawal deadline, but urged President Bush to start pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq in 2006. Both amendments were defeated in the Senate, 60-39.
Lieberman supported the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and continues to do so. During a 2004 Democratic presidential primary debate in South Carolina, he said, "though it's cost some jobs, has actually netted out 900,000 new jobs that were created by NAFTA". Lieberman also voted for the Central America-United States-Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) in 2005.
Lieberman is also the co-author of the US–China Relations Act that would create new incentives in bilateral relations with China. He voted for the U.S./China World Trade Organization (WTO) Accession agreement in 2000.
In 2002, Lieberman sponsored a pro-Israel U.S. Senate Resolution (S. Res. 247) regarding the Middle East Conflict, "expressing solidarity with Israel in its constant efforts to fight against terror". In an interview with The Associated Press, Lieberman said Israel had a right to launch offensives in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon after two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped. He added that if Arab countries urged restraint by Hezbollah and Hamas, it "will allow the Israelis to cool down."
Mark Vogel, chairman of the pro-Israel National Action Committee Political Action Committee (NACPAC), has stated that "Joe Lieberman, without exception, no conditions ... is the No. 1 pro-Israel advocate and leader in Congress. There is nobody who does more on behalf of Israel than Joe Lieberman. That is why he is incredibly important to the pro-Israel community." According to The Center for Responsive Politics, Lieberman currently ranks fourth on the list of candidates who received money from pro-Israel Political Action Committees (PACs) in 2006.
As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (formerly the Governmental Affairs Committee) in 2001, Lieberman proposed forming the Department of Homeland Security, a proposal that passed into law in 2002. As ranking member of the Committee from 2003 to 2007, he played a leading role in the passage of homeland security legislation such as the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, the SAFE Port Act, and the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act, and in the investigation of the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina. In January 2007 he became Chairman again of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, where he led efforts to pass the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.
Lieberman supports the Alberto Gonzales policy memo on the application of provisions of the Geneva Conventions. He believes "the decision was, in my opinion, a reasonable one, and ultimately a progressive one." He agrees with Gonzales in describing certain provisions of Geneva Conventions, specifically "that a captured enemy be afforded such things as commissary privileges, script advances of monthly pay, athletic uniforms and scientific instruments” as "quaint". He also agrees with the legal decision that al Qaeda's members "were not entitled to prisoner of war status." In 2006, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld that "at least" Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions is applicable to combatants "in the territory of" a signatory of the Conventions.
During an exchange with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in the 2004 senate hearing on the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse scandal, Lieberman denounced the abuses as "immoral" and deserving of an apology. Then he added, "I cannot help but say, however, that those who were responsible for killing 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001, never apologized. Those who have killed hundreds of Americans in uniform in Iraq working to liberate Iraq and protect our security have never apologized."
On December 27, 2009, Lieberman commented on reports that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who had allegedly tried to set off a suicide bomb on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on December 25, 2009, had subsequently confessed to being trained and equipped in Yemen. Lieberman called for the Obama administration to pre-emptively attack Yemen and to halt plans to repatriate Yemeni captives in Guantanamo.
In February 2007, Lieberman spoke before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in support of the confirmation of Sam Fox as ambassador to Belgium. Fox, a prominent Republican businessman and political donor, was a contributor to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign in 2004. Fox is also reported to have donated to Lieberman's 2006 Senate campaign.
In July 2008, Lieberman spoke at the annual conference of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) then later, in July 2009, accepted from John Hagee CUFI's "Defender of Israel Award.". Pastor Hagee, CUFI's founder and leader, has made a number of controversial remarks, including a statement that the Catholic Church is "the great whore" and a suggestion that God sent Adolf Hitler to bring the Jews to Israel.
While favoring the filibuster and threatening to use it in 2009 to eliminate a public health option as part of the healthcare proposal, Lieberman once strongly opposed it. In 1995, he joined with Senator Tom Harkin to co-sponsor an amendment to kill the filibuster. “The filibuster hurts the credibility of the entire Senate and impedes progress,” Lieberman told the Hartford Courant (Jan 6 1995).
2006 Connecticut United States Senatorial Election
|Joe Lieberman (I) (inc.) 49.7%|
|Ned Lamont (D) 39.7%|
|Alan Schlesinger (R) 9.6%|
|Ralph Ferucci (Green) 0.5%|
|Timothy Knibbs (Concerned Citizens) 0.4%|
2006 Connecticut United States Senatorial Democratic Primary Election
|Ned Lamont 52%|
|Joe Lieberman (inc.) 48%|
2000 United States Presidential Election (Vice President's seat)
|Joe Lieberman (D) 48.38%, 266* electoral votes|
|Dick Cheney (R) 47.87%, 271 electoral votes|
|Winona LaDuke (Green) 2.7%|
|Ezola B. Foster (Reform) 0.4%|
|Art Olivier (Lib.) 0.4%|
|Curtis Frazier (Constitution) 0.1%|
|Nat Goldhaber (Natural Law/Reform) 0.1%|
2000 Connecticut United States Senatorial Election
|Joe Lieberman (D) (inc.) 63.2%|
|Philip Giordano (R) 34.1%|
|William Kozak (Concerned Citizens) 2%|
|Wildey J. Moore (Lib.) 0.7%|
1994 Connecticut United States Senatorial Election
|Joe Lieberman (D) (inc.) 67%|
|Jerry Labriola (R) 31%|
|Gary R. Garneau (Constitution) 2%|
1988 Connecticut United States Senatorial Election
|Joe Lieberman (D) 49.7%|
|Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. (R) (inc.) 49%|
|Howard Grayson (Lib.) 0.9%|
|Melissa Fisher (New Alliance) 0.3%|
Lieberman is the author of six books: The Power Broker (1966), a biography of the late Democratic Party chairman, John M. Bailey; The Scorpion and the Tarantula (1970), a study of early efforts to control nuclear proliferation; The Legacy (1981), a history of Connecticut politics from 1930–1980; Child Support in America (1986), a guidebook on methods to increase the collection of child support from delinquent fathers, In Praise of Public Life (2000), and An Amazing Adventure (2003), reflecting on his 2000 vice presidential run.
|Armed Services||Subcommittee Chairman|
|Environment and Public Works||Subcommittee Chairman|
|Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs||Committee Chairman|
|Small Business and Entrepreneurship|
|United States Senate|
Lowell P. Weicker, Jr.
|United States Senator (Class 1) from Connecticut
1989 – present
Served alongside: Chris Dodd
|Chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee
|Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee
|Party political offices|
|Democratic Party Vice Presidential nominee
Anthony T. Moffett
|Democratic Party nominee for United States Senator (class 1) from Connecticut
1988, 1994, 2000
|Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council
Carl R. Ajello
|Attorney General of Connecticut
Clarine Nardi Riddle
|United States order of precedence|
|United States Senators by seniority
Joseph Isadore "Joe" Lieberman (born February 24, 1942) is an American politician from Connecticut. Lieberman was first elected to the United States Senate in 1988, and was elected to his fourth term on November 7, 2006. In the 2000 U.S. presidential election Lieberman was the Democratic candidate for Vice President, running alongside presidential nominee Al Gore, becoming the first Jewish candidate on a major American political party presidential ticket. Gore and Lieberman won the popular vote in the election, but lost in the Electoral College.
Joseph Isadore "Joe" Lieberman (born February 24, 1942) is an American politician from Connecticut. Lieberman was first elected to the United States Senate in 1988, and was elected to his fourth term on November 7, 2006.
"I was startled. It (Mortal Kombat) was very violent, and as you know, rewarded violence. And at the end, if you did really well, you'd get to decide whether to decapitate... how to kill the other guy, how to pull his head off. And there was all sorts of blood flying around."
"Then we started to look into it, and I forgot how I heard about Night Trap. And I looked into that game, too, and there was a classic. It ends with this attack scene on this women in lingerine, in her bathroom. I know the creator of the game said it was all meant to be a satire of Dracula; But nonetheless I thought it sent the wrong message."
Liebermans research researched that Pre-Genesis marketing data was mostly 7-12 year olds made up the market. While actual Sega Genesis data shows that the average user was 22 years old and only 5% of users were under the age of 13. Lieberman is concerned of the R rating in video games and issued several congressional.
As result the Entertainment Software Rating Board was created to regulate the content of violence and adult themes in games. Furthermore, the hearings caused Night Trap and Mortal Kombat sales surged.
To make fun of Lieberman Postal² developers assigned the easiest diffculty level is Libermode and one of the assignments was to get people to sign a petition that would "Make Whiny Congressmen Play Video Games." These jokes are due to Joe Lieberman's attack on the video game industry.