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Lieberman to work Sabbath for healthcare

Dec. 5, 2009 at 12:15 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Ind-Conn., says he'll attend key healthcare reform votes despite Orthodox Jewish prohibitions at against working on the Sabbath.

Despite rumors that Lieberman would miss the Saturday votes on healthcare reform bill amendments, the 67-year-old senator told The Hill he would walk from a Georgetown synagogue nearly 5 miles to the Capitol to attend the votes, even though the weather is expected to be chilly with possible sleet or snow.

The Washington publication said Lieberman would walk through Washington to adhere to religious beliefs against driving on the Sabbath. The senator reportedly said he feels justified in working Saturday because Jewish law makes an exemption for actions that are for the welfare of the community -- such as healthcare reform.

"I have a responsibility to my constituents, really to my conscience, to be here on something as important as healthcare reform," he told The Hill. "If a doctor gets a call that a patient needs them, they're not only permitted but required to go out."

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