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OBAMA PRESSES SENATE TO PASS ITS HEALTH BILL The New York Times - November 9 In the Senate, Mr. Reid has merged two bills into one. The fine print is not public, but the broad outlines are known. Unlike the House bill, which pays to extend coverage by taxing individuals who earn more than $500,000 a year and couples who earn more than $1 million, the Senate bill imposes a 40 percent excise tax on so-called Cadillac plans that cost more than $8,000 a year for an individual or $21,000 for a family. And unlike the House bill, which includes a national public plan, the Senate measure would allow states to opt out. But even that is too much government involvement for moderates like Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, a Democrat-turned-independent, who pledged Sunday to wage a filibuster to block any plan with a public option in it. ''If the public option plan is in there,'' Mr. Lieberman said on ''Fox News Sunday,'' ''as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote.'' Army Chief Concerned for Muslim Troops The New York Times - November 9 Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, appearing on ''Fox News Sunday,'' labeled the shooting spree ''the most destructive terrorist act to be committed on American soil since 9/11'' and said that as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee he intended to investigate Major Hasan's suspected motives and whether the Army ''missed warning signs that should have led them to essentially discharge him.'' ''If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have zero tolerance,'' Senator Lieberman said. ''He should have been gone.'' In Senate, healthbill has major hurdles USA Today - November 9 With less than seven weeks left on its calendar, the Senate timeline to start debate is uncertain. Even if the chamber passes a bill, lawmakers will have to work out differences with the House proposal, including how to pay for billions of dollars in new subsidies to help families buy coverage. Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said the House vote provided "good momentum," but there was no indication that moderate senators needed to pass the bill had warmed to controversial measures such as a proposed government-run insurance plan. "If the public option plan is in there ... I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote," Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman -- one of two independents Democrats are counting on -- warned onFox News Sunday. "I believe the debt can break America." Suspected gunman's ties to mosque investigated; The FBI and Army are looking into whether he had an association with militants there, a source says. Los Angeles Times - November 9 Meanwhile, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), said he wanted to launch a congressional investigation into the shooting. "If Hasan was showing signs, saying to people that he had become an Islamist extremist, the U.S. Army has to have zero tolerance," Lieberman said on "Fox News Sunday." "He should have been gone." Health Bill Faces Senate Heat --- Challenges on Abortion and Funding Loom After Overhaul Plan Squeaks Through House Wall Street Journal - November 9 Senate Democrats are struggling to agree on how to pay for the overhaul and whether to create a new public insurance plan to compete with private insurers, as the House did. Friction over how the bill treats abortion, which almost derailed the House vote, is likely to divide the Senate too. "If the public option plan is in there, as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote," Sen. Joe Lieberman (I., Conn.) said onFox News Sunday. Shooter Likely Acted Alone --- Fort Hood Prepares for Memorial Service as 16 Victims Remain Hospitalized Sunday Wall Street Journal - November 9 In Washington, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs plans to investigate the shootings, the motive and whether the Army overlooked any warning signs, said Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, the committee's chairman. "It's premature to reach conclusions about what motivated Hasan," Mr. Lieberman, an independent, said on "Fox News Sunday." "But it's clear that he was, one, under personal stress and, two, if the reports that we're receiving of various statements he made, acts he took, are valid, he had turned to Islamist extremism."