Political positions of Joe Lieberman

Here are Senator Joe Lieberman's votes and remarks on various issues.

Party identification

In January 2007, Lieberman described 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." [ [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,247844,00.html Transcript: Sen. Joe Lieberman on 'FOX News Sunday'] Fox News.com. January 24, 2007.]

Domestic policy

Affirmative action

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". [ [http://www.newmassmedia.com/lieberman/affirm.html Lieberman on Affirmative Action.] Advocate Weekly Newspapers, Retrieved October 10, 2006.]

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."Edsall, Thomas B. and Harris, Hamil R. [http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45c/197.html Lieberman Stirs Concern Among Blacks.] "The Washington Post" August 15, 2000; A01. Hosted at Hartford-hwp.com] "Affirmative action is dividing us in ways its creators could never have intended.", he said.Greenfield, Jeff. [http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/08/03/greenfield.lieberman/ It's more than just Iraq: Lieberman has long been on the outs with his party's base.] "CNN" August 3, 2006.]

Since 2000, he rescinded his support for the proposition, saying that he expressed support "without understand [ing] the intent of Proposition 209", and renounced any support for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. [ [http://archives.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/08/15/lieberman.speech/index.html Lieberman defends civil rights record.] CNN.com August 15, 2000.] 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." [Glanton, Dahleen. " 'I Will Support Affirmative Action,' Lieberman". "Chicago Tribune" August 16, 2000. [http://aad.english.ucsb.edu/docs/iwill.html Available here.] ] In 2003, Lieberman criticized Bush's affirmative action policy. [Joe Lieberman, US Senator. [http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=207356&& Lieberman Denounces Bush Decision to Oppose Michigan Affirmative Action Programs: Press release.] January 15, 2003.] 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." [Project VoteSmart. [http://www.vote-smart.org/npat.php?old=true&can_id=S0141103&npatform_id=326#9 Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (CT).] Retrieved October 10, 2006.]

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 minorities and women.OnTheIssues.org. [http://www.ontheissues.org/2004/Joseph_Lieberman_Civil_Rights.htm Joseph Lieberman on Civil Rights.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.]

Tort Reform

Lieberman was one of four Senate Democrats to side with Republicans in 1995 in voting to limit punitive damage awards in product liability cases. [United States Senate. [http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=104&session=1&vote=00152 U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 104th Congress - 1st Session.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.]

In February, 2005, breaking ranks with the Democratic majority,dubious Lieberman was one of 22 Democrats who voted for the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, S. 5, which is a bill that expanded federal jurisdiction over class action lawsuits. 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 claimed that many valid claims against corporations would be dismissed, leaving consumers without legal recourse. [ [http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/109/senate/1/votes/9/ U.S. Congress Votes Database: 109th Congress / Senate / 1st session / Vote 9.] "The Washington Post". Retrieved October 10, 2006.] [The Library of Congress. [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:s.5: S.5] Retrieved October 10, 2006.]

Education

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. [ [http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0008/13/sun.05.html Lieberman Fields Questions on Religion, Clinton, Differences With Gore: transcript.] "CNN" Aired August 13, 2000.]

Lieberman has called Bush's "No Child Left Behind" 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." [Cohen, Barry. [http://www.jewishaz.com/jewishnews/020607/lieberman.shtml Lieberman strives for 'moral clarity'.] "Jewish News of Greater Phoenix" June 7, 2002.] He has repeatedly criticized the administration to this effect. [Joe Lieberman, US Senator. [http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=232428&& Lieberman Criticizes Bush Education Cuts: Press release.] February 22, 2005.]

Entertainment Industry

Lieberman has been critical of the entertainment media. [Tapper, Jake. [http://archive.salon.com/politics/feature/2000/08/29/hollywood/index.html Hollywood on trial.] Salon.com, August 29, 2000. Retrieved October 10, 2006.] 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. [Parents Action for Children. [http://pac.nisgroup.com/learn/media/violent-video-game-legislation/ Parents’ Action Endorses New Clinton-Lieberman-Bayh Bill Banning the Sale of Violent Video Games to Minors.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.] Regarding Grand Theft Auto, he said, "The player is rewarded for attacking awoman, 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." ["Reuters". [http://www.forbes.com/technology/sciences/newswire/2004/01/25/rtr1226141.html Lieberman denounces 'Grand Theft Auto' video game.] "Forbes" January 25, 2004.] He voted for the Communications Decency Act. [United States Senate. [http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=104&session=2&vote=00008 U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 104th Congress - 2nd Session.] Retrieved October 26, 2006.]

Environment

Lieberman co-sponsored the 1990 Clean Air Act, introduced legislation in 1991 to give consumers more information about the dangers of pesticides, and has addressed the need to limit global warming. [Joe Lieberman, US Senator. [http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=254747&& Lieberman Leads Opposition to Bush EPA Nominee Wehrum: Press release.] April 26, 2006.] 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. [US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. [http://senate.gov/~gov_affairs/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&Affiliation=R&PressRelease_id=546&Month=10&Year=2003 LIEBERMAN CONDEMNS BUSH ADMINISTRATION PLAN TO OPEN WILDERNESS-LIKE LANDS TO OIL AND GAS INDUSTRY: Press release.] October 30, 2003.] 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 EPA. Lieberman has even gone as far as saying he wants to raise mileage standard to 40 mpg. [OnThe Issues.org. [http://www.ontheissues.org/Domestic/Joseph_Lieberman_Environment.htm Joseph Lieberman on Environment.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.] Lieberman voted for the administration-backed Energy Policy Act of 2005; [Blum, Justin. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/28/AR2005062800398.html Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Energy Bill.] "The Washington Post" June 29, 2005; Page A04.] facing criticism, Lieberman called the bill imperfect but good for Connecticut, citing a saving of $800 million for Connecticut electricity customers. [OnTheIssues.org. [http://www.ontheissues.org/International/Joseph_Lieberman_Energy_+_Oil.htm Joseph Lieberman on Energy & Oil.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.] Lieberman has been a vocal critic of Bush's environmental policy. [Joe Lieberman, US Senator. [http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=249687&& Lieberman Urges Bush Administration to Take Action on Global Warming: Press release.] December 13, 2005.] [Joe Lieberman, US Senator. [http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=253658&& Lieberman Blasts Bush Administration for Bullying Climate Scientists: Press release.] April 6, 2006.]

"Gang of 14"

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. [Nagourney, Adam. [http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003162511_lieberman30.html Lieberman's primary concerns.] "The Seattle Times" July 30, 2006.] 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. [C-Span.org. [http://www.c-span.org/congress/alito_senate.asp FINAL SENATE VOTE: SAMUEL ALITO CONFIRMATION.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.] 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. [Holland, Jesse J. [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/07/21/national/w054749D66.DTL Lieberman: Roberts Probably Not Extremist.] "San Francisco Chronicle" July 21, 2005.] 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. [C_Span.org. [http://www.c-span.org/congress/roberts_senate.asp FINAL SENATE VOTE: JOHN ROBERTS CONFIRMATION.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.]

LGBT social movements

In 2004, Lieberman scored a rating of 88 out of 100 by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), one of the largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality."Human Rights Campaign. [http://www.hrc.org/Template.cfm?Section=Home&CONTENTID=30093&TEMPLATE=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm Bush vs. Kerry on GLBT Issues! (PDF)] Retrieved October 10, 2006.]

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." [ [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/11/11/politics/main583048.shtml Gay Marriage Enters The Race.] "CBS News" November 19, 2003. Retrieved October 10, 2006.]

Lieberman cosponsored the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations act of 2003, which provided the same benefits to domestic partners of federal employees as spouses currently have. In 1996, Lieberman cosponsored the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. [The Library of Congress. [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d104:SN02056: S.2056] Retrieved October 10, 2006.] Lieberman voted in favor of the Early Treatment for HIV Act of 2003, which provided Medicaid treatment for people with HIV. Lieberman has adopted a non-discriminatory policy in employment decisions, which include sexual orientation and gender.

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." [American Library Association Washington Office. [http://infomotions.com/serials/alawon/alawon-v3n57.txt CLOTURE VOTES PASSES SENATE--FINAL ESEA VOTE EXPECTED.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.] [The Library of Congress. [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d103:SN01513:@@@S S.1513] Retrieved October 10, 2006.] Lieberman voted for the amendment. [United States Senate. [http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=103&session=2&vote=00244 U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 103rd Congress - 2nd Session.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.] He voted for prohibiting HIV-positive immigrants from entering the United States and against a measure to grant domestic-partner benefits to District of Columbia employees. [ [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1589/is_2000_Sept_12/ai_64975325 Pleased, not thrilled - vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman and gay issues.] "The Advocate" September 12, 2000.] [Clymer, Adam. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&res=9F0CE1DF1F39F931A25750C0A965958260 House, Like Senate, Votes To Ban H.I.V. Immigrants.] "The New York Times" March 12, 1993.] [United States Senate. [http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=103&session=1&vote=00013 U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 103rd Congress - 1st Session.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.] [The Library of Congress. [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d103:SP00039: S.AMDT.39] Retrieved October 10, 2006.]

Gun control

Lieberman received an "F" rating from the National Rifle Association and a 90% from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. [Project VoteSmart. [http://www.youngvotersprogram.org/issue_rating_category.php?can_id=S0141103&type=category&category=Gun%20Issues Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (CT): Gun Issues.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.] 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. [http://www.ontheissues.org/Domestic/Joseph_Lieberman_Gun_Control.htm Joseph Lieberman on Gun Control.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.]

In 2000, he opposed Al Gore's position to require a license to purchase a new handgun. Although they disagreed on this issue, Gore asked Lieberman not to change his position.

He was one of 84 senators who voted in favor of the Vitter Amendment, which prohibited the federal funding of the confiscation of legally-owned firearms during a disaster [http://www.vote-smart.org/issue_keyvote_detail.php?vote_id=3872&can_id=S0141103] .

Health care and reproductive rights

In March 2006, according to the "The New Haven Register," when asked about the approach of the Catholic hospitals on contraceptives for rape victims, Lieberman said he believes 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. [Hladky, Gregory B. [http://www.nhregister.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=16292372&BRD=1281&PAG=461&dept_id=31007&rfi=6 Contraceptive issue creating political storm.] "New Haven Register" March 13, 2006. ]

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." [Tobias, Carol. [http://www.nrlc.org/news/2004/NRL01/control_of_house_and_senate_at_s.htm THE RACE FOR THE WHITE HOUSE IS ON!] National Right to Life. Retrieved October 10, 2006.] He has criticized Bush's recent veto of the embryonic stem cell research. [Joe Lieberman, US Senator. [http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=258819 Lieberman Supports Federal Funding for Stem Cell Research: Press release.] July 18, 2006.]

Lieberman has been critical of Bush's Medicare plan, arguing that in its current state, it does not provide sufficiently for our nation's elderly. [Joe Lieberman, US Senator. [http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=255404&& Lieberman Blasts Bush Administration for Punishing America’s Seniors, Calls for Extension of Medicare Part D Deadline: Press release.] May 10, 2006.] [Joe Lieberman, US Senator. [http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=247052&& Lieberman Calls on Bush Administration to Fix Critical Errors in Medicare Prescription Drug Program.] October 6, 2005.]

In 2005, Lieberman introduced S. 975, the Project BioShield II Act of 2005, to provide incentives to increase research by private sector entities to develop medical countermeasures tocounter bioterrorism threats. The bill seeks to grant liability protection for these drugs and an extension of patents to companies that produce drugs needed in case of a bioterrorism attack. [Office of Legislative Policy and Analysis. (NIH) [http://olpa.od.nih.gov/tracking/109/senate_bills/session1/s-975.asp S. 975—The Project BioShield II Act of 2005.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.]

Lieberman had a 75% pro-choice voting record in 2005,Project Vote Smart. [http://www.vote-smart.org/issue_rating_category.php?can_id=S0141103 Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (CT): Abortion Issues.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.] and 100% pro-choice voting records in the years 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004, according to NARAL. [NARAL: Pro-Choice America. [http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/choice-action-center/in-congress/congressional-record-on-choice/josephilieberman.html Congressional Record on Choice: Joseph I. Lieberman (D).] Retrieved October 10, 2006.] During the 2000 Presidential campaign, he promised to not support legislation that was being introduced in Congress to override the FDA decision on RU-486, a pill that terminates early pregnancy. He has supported requiring minors to have parental consent before having abortions at federally subsidized clinics. He voted against banning some late-term procedures known by its opponents as "partial-birth abortion" [http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Joseph_Lieberman.htm#Abortion] . Lieberman said that Orthodox Judaism considers abortion to be a personal matter, although many Orthodox Jews disagree. [OnTheIssues.org [http://www.issues2000.org/2004/Joseph_Lieberman_Abortion.htm Joseph Lieberman on Abortion.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.]

Options expensing

In 1993 and 1994, Lieberman was the key senator in preventing the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) from closing an accounting loophole that allowed companies to avoid recording stock options as an expense. Arthur Levitt, the Chairman of the SEC at the time, has said "There was no question in my mind that campaign contributions played the determinative role in that Senate activity."

ocial security

Lieberman cosponsored a resolution urging the Congress to reject the Bush Administration Social Security Commission's report. [ [http://www.joe2006.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=117&Itemid=36 retirement online university cell phones at joe2006.com ] ] failed verification|date=February 2007

Lieberman described the debate as "this is an ongoing problem, and we'd be wise to deal with it." He told "The Hartford Courant" in January of 2005 when asked about Social Security, "if we can figure out a way to help people through private accounts or something else, great."Kirkpatrick, David D. and Hulse, Carl. [http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50713FB35590C748CDDAA0894DD404482 On Social Security, Lieberman the Centrist Ruffles Democratic Feathers on the Left.] "New York Times" March 7, 2005.] Lieberman praised Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for trying to fashion a bipartisan social security plan.

Tax, labor, and business

Lieberman voted against much of the Bush tax plan, [OnTheIssues.org. [http://www.ontheissues.org/Economic/Joseph_Lieberman_Tax_Reform.htm Joseph Lieberman on Tax Reform.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.] but in the 2004 Democratic Presidential Primary, he criticized the desire of most Democrats to repeal all or almost all of Bush's tax cuts, arguing that "tax cuts are an important tool of fiscal policy to get the economy going again". [ [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,92771,00.html Lieberman Calls Dem Opponents Soft Spendthrifts.] "FOX News July 25, 2003.]

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." [PBS.org. [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/regulation/interviews/lieberman.html Interview: Sen. Joseph Lieberman.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.] [PBS.org. [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/regulation/congress/ Congress and Accounting Wars.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.] 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."Toobin, Jeffrey. [http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/021216fa_fact Joe Lieberman looks hopefully toward the White House.] "The New Yorker" December 16, 2002.]

Other

Lieberman has voted against amending the Constitution to criminalize flag burning.

Foreign policy

Iraq War

Lieberman sponsored S.J. Res.46, the Senate version of H.J. Res. 114, that is, the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, also called the Iraq Resolution. [The Library of Congress. [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:SJ00046: S.J.RES.46] Retrieved October 10, 2006. ]

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." [Lieberman, Joe. [http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007611 Our Troops Must Stay.] "The Wall Street Journal" November 29, 2005.]
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." [Joe Lieberman, US Senator. [http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=249522 Remarks of Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment Forum on Next Steps for Successful Strategy in Iraq: Press release.] December 6, 2005.]

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid rebuked 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." [Murray, Shailagh. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/09/AR2005120901934.html?nav=rss_world Lieberman Wins Republican Friends, Democratic Enemies With Support for War.] "The Washington Post" December 10, 2005.]

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; [Face the Nation. PDFlink| [http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/face_120405.pdf John Kerry, Transcript.] |135 KiB December 4, 2005.] Lieberman responded with, "It's a total fantasy, there's just no truth to it." [Hernandez, Raymond and Yardley, William. [http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/10/politics/10lieberman.html Lieberman's Iraq Stance Brings Widening Split With His Party.] "New York Times" December 10, 2005.]

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. [ [http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/109/senate/2/votes/182/ U.S. Congress Votes Database: 109th Congress / Senate / 2nd session / Vote 182.] "The Washington Post". Retrieved October 10, 2006.]

Criticism of Bush Foreign Policy

Lieberman has vocally criticized the Bush Administration's execution of the Iraq War, being a frequent critic of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. During an exchange with Donald Rumsfeld in the 2004 senate hearing on the Abu Ghraib scandal, Lieberman denounced the abuses as "immoral" and deserving of an apology. He also condemned Iraqi insurgents.

Lieberman frequently called for Rumsfeld's resignation, at one point saying that "if I were President, I would say (to Rumsfeld) 'Thank you, but we need some new leadership at the Pentagon.'" [http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Joe_Liberman_says_Rumsfeld_should_go_0804.html]

Lieberman has also criticized the president's handling of the war, saying that "this administration took far too many shortcuts. We continue to suffer the consequences, as do the Iraqi people." [http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/story/440252p-370892c.html]

Homeland security

The Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, while Lieberman was chairman, first proposed forming the Department of Homeland Security in 2001. The bill contained provisions that would establish a university research center for domestic security, most probably at Texas A&M University; would allow many businesses that have left the country to avoid federal taxes to contract with the new department; and would provide legal protection to companies that make ingredients for vaccines. [Firestone, David. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9506EFDB1639F933A15752C1A9649C8B63&sec=health&pagewanted=2 THREATS AND RESPONSES: LEGISLATION; SENATE VOTES, 90-9, TO SET UP A HOMELAND SECURITY DEPT. GEARED TO FIGHT TERRORISM.] "New York Times" November 20, 2002.]

Free trade

Lieberman supported the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and continues to do so.OnTheIssues.org. [http://www.issues2000.org/2004/Joseph_Lieberman_Free_Trade.htm Joseph Lieberman on Free Trade.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.] 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". [PBS.org. [http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/jan-june04/dem_01-30.html Democratic debate:excerpts.] January 30, 2004.] Lieberman also voted for the Central America-United States-Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) in 2005. [US Senate. [http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=109&session=1&vote=00209 U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 109th Congress - 1st Session Vote Number 209.] Retrieved October 10, 2006.]

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.

Israel

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". [The Library of Congress. [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c107:S.RES.247: 107th CONGRESS, 2d Session, S. RES. 247 Expressing solidarity with Israel in its fight against terrorism.] April 22, 2002.]

According to the Associated Press, in 2000, Lieberman received $83,000 from pro-Israel PACs when he ran for his Senate seat. [Haigh, Susan. [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/07/19/ap/politics/mainD8IV7I1O1.shtml Lieberman Gets Pro-Israel Groups' Support.] CBS News. July 19, 2006.] While generally refraining from commenting on foreign policy during the Senate race in 2006, he reaffirmed his strong support for Israel, "when there are groups attacking innocent civilians, it is the right of Israel and all peace loving people to protect themselves." [Medina, Jennifer. [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/27/nyregion/27lieberman.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion&oref=slogin On Lieberman, Some Jews Are Torn on 2 Wars.] "New York Times" July 27, 2006.]

Geneva Conventions

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." [Joe Lieberman, US Senator. [http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=231560 Lieberman Statement on the Nomination of Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General: Press release.] February 3, 2005.] 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. [Supreme Court of the United States. PDFlink| [http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/05pdf/05-184.pdf HAMDAN v. RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, ET AL. ] |1.31 MiB Retrieved October 10, 2006.]

References


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