May 6th, 2010
11:53 AM ET
4 years ago

Kerry, Lieberman to pursue climate change measure

Sen. Joe Lieberman will partner with Sen. John Kerry to resurrect climate change legislation.
Sen. Joe Lieberman will partner with Sen. John Kerry to resurrect climate change legislation.

Washington (CNN) - Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman are working to resurrect long-planned climate change legislation that got knocked off track last month after Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham abandoned plans to participate.

Two Senate sources familiar with the plans confirm that Kerry, D-Massachusetts, and Lieberman, I-Connecticut, will likely hold a press conference next week to announce their bill. But Kerry told CNN Thursday that the details of when to unveil it are still being worked out.

One of the sources said that Kerry continued to hold meetings with colleagues, business and environmental leaders and others even after original plans for a bipartisan bill with Graham crumbled.

"We have a bill and we want people to see it," said the source.

Looming large over this legislation is the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The broad measure is expected to include proposals to expand both on- and offshore oil drilling.

Sources familiar with the senators' plans say Kerry and Lieberman intend to keep those proposals in their bill, but they understand safety regulations and standards will and should be scrutinized and added to their legislation in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida has vowed to filibuster any legislation that includes an expansion of offshore drilling.

Kerry, Lieberman and Graham were set to announce their bill April 26, but abruptly cancelled their news conference after Graham angrily withdrew because of a dispute with Democratic leaders over immigration reform.

The South Carolina Republican was furious that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had signaled he wanted to try to take up immigration reform in the Senate before climate change.

"Moving forward on immigration - in this hurried, panicked manner - is nothing more than a cynical political ploy," Graham wrote in a sharply worded letter April 24.

Now, Kerry is hoping that there has been some time for "immigration politics settle out," according to the source familiar with the plans, and that even if he doesn't attend next week's possible announcement, that perhaps ultimately Graham would be on board.

"Senator Graham stands by this bill," Kerry said Thursday when asked if Graham is still supporting the legislation. However, Kerry added that he doesn't necessarily expect Graham to be at the unveiling because "we still have immigration issues."

A spokesman for Graham has not yet returned CNN calls for comment.

Some Democratic sources suggest that, despite the renewed push, it's unlikely that climate change legislation will make it to the Senate floor this year.

–CNN's Ted Barrett contributed to this report.


Filed under: Energy • Joe Lieberman • John Kerry • Lindsey Graham • Senate
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Yeah energy independence should be the #1 priority and heavy subsidization of wind / solar / biofuel industry that is 100% made in the USA. We can't even keep existing offshore drilling safe, yet alone think about new ocean drilling.

    I'm shocked Lieberman isn't trying to take credit for stopping terrorism all by himself.

    May 6, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. Pkm

    Make sure joe does not make money on the deal the gop only wants the spanish to go back to mexico

    May 6, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. david

    they should really wait for the fallout of large companies not offering health care to there employees once they tallied up the destruction of Obama's and democrats Health Care debacle.... Just like critics said would happen, companies not being able to afford to provide health insurance for its employees is here already.. Cheaper to pay the fine than to supply insurance..... I guess the left will immediately shift to proposing amendments to "SINGLE PAYER" now that the cat is out of the bag on the true cost of this atrocity... Thank you Democrats, your unemployment starts in NOV.... No new laws should be passed while you wait for your walking papers...... NONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 6, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Blaum

    not a priority right now......

    Sorry.... but maybe next year...

    May 6, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Graham accused Reid of playing politics by wanting to deal with immigration, but his dropping out of the climate bill sponsorship wasn't political?
    His reaction isn't even hidden- it was all politics.
    Get rid of all of them!

    May 6, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Marc

    And the Climate Change denialists will start their usual 'I AM SMARTER THAN A CIENTIST' baseless rant in 3... 2... 1...
    (BTW, I know that the line above is a bit arrogant from my part, but these guys keep repeating the same 'points' over and over again, never ever bothering to check the sources of their 'rock solid' arguments...)

    May 6, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. Dan Shafer

    Do you all see how the media controls you? Obama says its an issue, the media says its an issue, then all of a sudden it an emergency. Now Climate or Immigration...

    Were we not promised jobs? He can't produce them so the jobs issue is no longer front page....

    May 6, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. ART

    I'am truly shocked that Lindsey Graham walk out ,he's such a champion of the enviroment. NOT

    May 6, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. Bob in PA

    Morons !
    This Congess needs to back way off. We are just now learning of what might be a complete failure of their perverted Health Care legislation and the fact that Democrats under Henry Waxman's leadership covered up items they learned in April hearings. Tell them no more, then toss them out on their behinds.

    May 6, 2010 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. vette gal

    Honestly, why can't our politicians work on more than one thing at a time? Maybe if they multi-tasked like the average american does, they would get more done. Oh wait, I forgot, they don't even begin to work the number of days we do every year. Maybe if they quit taking the time to campaign, they might get something done! Personally, I'm voting against anyone that's been in office more than 2 terms.

    May 6, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Tony

    Cap-and-Scam ain't gonna happen. The progressives blew it and the hoax of anthropogenic climate change has been revealed. You guys will have to find some other way to oppress the American people.

    May 6, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. Fair is Fair

    "BTW, I know that the line above is a bit arrogant from my part, but these guys keep repeating the same 'points' over and over again, never ever bothering to check the sources of their 'rock solid' arguments"

    And the man-made global warming crowd based their "rock solid" arguements on data which we now know to have been doctored.

    And no... I'm not a "denialist" (thanks, BTW... that's a new word for me)... but I'm also not a "the debate is over" Al Gore-ist either.

    May 6, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. stevegee

    Cap-and-Tax is the biggest scam of all-time - it's not about the environment, it's about. knocking America down several pegs on the economic scale.

    It'll make our energy costs skyrocket, and it'll redistribute our wealth to other countries around the world. The Progressive Movement has been planning this for generations - and Kerry, Lieberman are in lock-step with them, along with Obama, Pelosi, Ried and a huge portion of the Democrats.

    This November, vote American, vote Republican!

    May 6, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. gt

    if they dont get it right ,, all of these senators will be looking for work..

    May 6, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    Oh Boy a new tax for me to pay, Woo Hoo! Hey I'm only paying 62% of my over paid 63K a year salary in taxes and fees now. Why not pile more on me? School taxes up 18%, property tax up 9%, the new health care tax of 3.5%, sales taxes and fees going up to 11% and the list of taxes and fees goes on and on.
    Our Government does not care about us we are just a means to raise funding from for all of those special interests and lobbyists who own our government.

    Come folks it is time that these fake representatives get downsized.

    Tell Congress this fall “You are fired!”

    May 6, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  16. david

    or maybe now with a large number of what did you say "SCIENTISTS" who had claimed before of how Global Warming was ravaging the earth now saying that the data has been falsified by power and money grubbing people..... makes you wonder why politicians are still wanting to ram through the extreme version instead of opening up discussion about what is really going on.... Now with the oil spill and the call to stop all offshore drilling your climate bill is essentially D.O.A because in the energy bill that is being proposed, lies all the harsh parts of the Climate Bill that Democrats do not want to debate openly to the American public.... No offshore drilling = No climate bill with the teeth can can sink this nation once and for all

    May 6, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. Barb

    You guys are messed up, that's what you get for posting unrealistic comments on the blogs, autobuographies, etc. And you have no choice but to either look at em or not. Times changed, I'm certified...at least according to the U.S Census Bearus.

    And while you're at it, what's the sound of that? Oh right, I forgot, I think is the sound of the technology that we are seekingly looking for. Guess what my meeting was today? guess? :)

    May 6, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. chris b

    Congress (GOP) can't multitask?

    GOP=
    No financial reform, No healthcare, No climate reform, No education reform, No Immigration reform... and instead the status quo which has obviously worked out wonderfully...

    May 6, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. mohamed

    Sen. Lieberman is trying hard to save his seat.

    May 6, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  20. Why Does God Hate Red States?

    500 year flood in Tennessee only proves that there is no climate change, only God's rath against another "red" state.

    May 6, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  21. Barbara Independent in NY

    Climate change is one of many issues that must be done this year. However, Senator Kerry don't turn your back on Lieberman. He's not to be trusted.

    May 6, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  22. Ken in NC

    I agree with Senators Kerry and Lieberman. We do need Climate change but the better climate change would be to eliminate Senator Lieberman and replace him with Senator Joe Blow or Senator John Doe or Senator Mary Jane.

    The climate will change for the better with Lieberman out of the Senate.

    May 6, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  23. Jayne

    Lieberman ? Must be helping his rich friends in the oil industry. Every time this guy is involved in something it's because there are $$$$$ to gain.

    May 6, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. Get real!

    Ok, I'm all for clean air and less consumption of oil......however no one has come up with a sustainable alternative that can be implemented in a short period of time to get us off of oil. The only thing we need to subsidize is a massive Manhattan style project to come up with better ways that won't take decades to implement.

    May 6, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Ok people its time to double and triple the present utility rates to make up for the lost industries .

    May 6, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
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