April 23rd, 2010
03:55 PM ET
13 years ago

Climate change legislation unlikely this year, say sources

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/23/art.smokestacks4.gi.jpg caption=" Two Democratic sources tell CNN that climate change legislation is unlikely to make it to the Senate floor this year."](CNN) - Despite a new bipartisan push on climate change, legislation on the issue is unlikely to make it to the Senate floor this year, two Senate Democratic sources tell CNN.

That would be a blow to three senior senators set to unveil a much anticipated bipartisan measure dealing with climate change Monday morning.

The main reason sources say the prospects for the legislation are dim is because Senate Democratic leaders have decided to try to put immigration reform first on the agenda, and after that there likely won't be an appetite for another politically divisive issue before November's election – especially with a Supreme Court nomination ahead and a desire to stay focused on the politically potent issue of jobs.

The Democratic sources said the feeling in the Senate Democratic leadership is that immigration has more of a political upside for Democrats for several reasons.

Democrats know that Latinos who voted for President Obama and other Democrats in 2008 are furious that Democrats have not yet kept the promise to advance comprehensive immigration reform.

Immigration is especially critical politically for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, who is down in the polls for his re-election bid in a state where a quarter of the population is Hispanic.

On Monday, Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, and Senator Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, are slated to release legislation that would, among other things, set a goal of a 17 percent reduction in carbon emissions in the next 10 years.

A Kerry spokeswoman downplayed any talk of not moving on the issue before November.
"There are always people who think it's impossible to tackle big challenges in an election year, but Senators Kerry, Graham, and Lieberman have been working overtime to produce an approach that can succeed," said Kerry spokeswoman Whitney Smith.

"The majority leader reiterated yesterday to them that he is committed to make this the year bi-partisan, comprehensive climate and energy reform passes the Senate and Senator Kerry knows the leader is tough and determined enough to make it happen."

Filed under: Environmental policy
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dana Bash, do please stop with your incessant bias.

    I agree that immigration reform should be a bigger priority than climate change. Profiling based on the color of ones skin, the clothes one wears, or the hairstyle one chooses, is NOT where I would like our country to be. In fact, I am absolutely set against it.

    This issue needs to be resolved, and fast.

    April 23, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Dan

    Climate Bill is a job creator a race to the top to energy independent.

    April 23, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. David

    The first thing the Democrats need to do is to change the name of this to an Energy Independence bill. The contents of the bill will be the same but it will be more attractive to the majority of people who don't bother to read more than the cover. The bill is addressing our dependence on foreign sources of energy (oil is the big one). Drill baby drill isn't going to solve our energy problems. We need many other sources too.

    April 23, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Not a big deal. We've had our legislation that was already a BFD. Take that republicans!

    April 23, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. Mark from Louisiana

    the dems better cram through everything they can this year because it will be decades before dems regain the majority again, Americans will never forget the crap they have done since obummer was elected.

    April 23, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    The gop is scared to death if the Democrats go forward with immigration reform,the reason its going to wakup a sleepin giant like it did in 2006,the gop can forget about winning calif,colorodo,illinois,nyork,in penn,in expect nevada in florida,in ohio to come in play for the democrats,the gop dont want the republican party to show its true color on this,if the tea party insult the latino cumminity along with right wing radio,its going to bring alot of hipanics to the polls in november forget about taking back anything in the the future republicans.

    April 23, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. gt

    whats the buzz word "global warming or climate change" this is so confusing... i dont know where to send my ck ?

    April 23, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. Liz the First

    This is not just about energy independence, it's about the survival of life on this planet. anyone who thinks ANYTHING should be more of a priority than addressing climate change is sadly and dangerously mistaken. if the climate becomes inhospitable for human life, all the other problems we have will be petty indeed. if we twiddle our thumbs while we pass the tipping point, we're going to be very sorry. our kids and grandkids will have no quality of life at all and maybe no life at all. shame on the Democrats for not acting on this most vital issue of our time!!!!! and shame on the rethuglikkklans for putting out so much false information that some people actually think this is not a crisis!!!

    April 23, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. Obama the liar

    i put climate change (the old global warming scare) above the theory of Weapons of Mass Destruction scare....both lies.

    April 23, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. Boo

    Probably. Cap and Tax doesn't sound so good right now as the Democrats are preparing for elections. They already rammed a healthcare bill down our throat that we just heard is going to cost us more money. That was no suprise to almost 60% of the country.

    April 23, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. Ancient Texan

    Immigration reform, closing the borders, not granting amnesty is very important and is years overdue. Global Warming is a gigantic hoax designed to make Al Gore a Billionaire.

    April 23, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |

    I give this President, and congress so many kudos for tackling gigantic issues. They have not wasted time, and their progress for America will begin to bare fruit.
    All I have to say is let's keep it moving on Immigration reform, Climate change, deficit reduction, etc.

    These issues MUST be addressed.


    Hi Haters!!!!!! 🙂

    April 23, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. Uncle Sam

    First, the junk science that the climate change hoax was based on has been acknowledged as inaccurate by the scientist who collected the data. So there is no evidence of man made global warming. The climate changes and there is nothing we should do about it. Remember there was an ice age...

    Immigration reform... why are people so worried about profiling. Or maybe its so we must employee twice as many law enforcement so your great aunt Sally (lilly white and 90 years old) has to prove her citizenship. Just like she is strip searched and full body scanned at airports because of the little old lady terror threat.

    April 23, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |