Capitol Hill is a soap opera these days, complete with broken promises, hurt feelings, and strategic alliances. This weekend had serious drama after Sen. Lindsey Graham said he would withdraw his support for his own bill if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided to push immigration reform over climate and energy legislation. Well, hot off the presses, Reid has announced that he favors climate legislation. Reid told reporters today that both issues are important, but climate is ready to go. The bill could be announced any time now.
"The energy bill is ready, we will move that more quickly than a bill we don't have. I don't have an immigration bill."
But Reid doesn't seem to think that Graham will again throw his support behind the bill: "I don't know why Senator Graham has decided that he wants out of what he's doing."
On Friday, Graham wrote to his colleagues:
"I want to bring to your attention what appears to be a decision by the Obama Administration and Senate Democratic leadership to move immigration instead of energy. Unless their plan substantially changes this weekend, I will be unable to move forward on energy independence legislation at this time. I will not allow our hard work to be rolled out in a manner that has no chance of success...Moving forward on immigration -- in this hurried, panicked manner -- is nothing more than a cynical political ploy."
What's in The Bill?
The bill is expected to set a short-term target of 17 percent emissions reductions from 2005 levels by 2020. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends that developed countries reduce their emissions by 25-40 percent of 1990 levels by 2020.
The bill was authored by Sens. Kerry (D-MA), Graham (R-SC) and Lieberman (I-CT).