Graham: After Health Care Fight, Conservative Dems Won’t Support Climate Legislation
Meet Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the only man in Washington who’s actively working to undermine legislation he’s in the process of writing.
Graham’s surprising (and politically brave) work on a comprehensive climate bill with Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) has been punctuated by hedges and backtracks, all while insisting he’s committed to passing the legislation. Today is no exception.
The Hill reports:
Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters Thursday that Democrats from conservative states will now be less likely to embrace the climate effort now that they’ve cast a tough vote on healthcare.
“I think it creates risk aversion,” he told reporters after the Senate passed a package of changes to the health care law.
Graham singled out Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln, Jon Tester and Ben Nelson as being less likely to vote for climate change.
“Go talk to Blanche Lincoln. ‘Hey, you want to do energy and climate? You want to do immigration?’ Go talk to [Jon]Tester, to Ben Nelson, give them a shout-out,” he said. “I just think the idea of doing hard things has been tainted because the blowback they are getting on health care has made them risk averse.”
He insists he’ll “continue to work with Kerry and Lieberman to put together a bill on energy and climate that looks at an old problem in a new way” — but in a Washington culture where perception is everything, they can’t be thanking him for announcing that a contingent of Democrats won’t be likely to support their efforts.