Appearing on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports just now, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) sounded an optimistic note about the prospects for comprehensive climate legislation this year and expressed dismay at Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) indication that immigration reform would be a higher priority — a move that led Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to call off his work on the climate bill in protest this weekend.
“A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to the announcement,” said Lieberman, who along with Graham and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) was expected to unveil the climate bill today before Graham’s change of heart.
But he emphasized that Graham is still fully on board, that “this is his priority.”
The ball is in Reid’s court now. Lieberman says he talked with Reid yesterday, and the majority leader “explicitly” reassured him that he was still committed to putting the climate bill to a vote once it’s ready. “He assumes that will be before the immigration reform bill is ready,” Lieberman said. “He knows our bill is ready and the immigration reform bill is not.”
Once Graham is convinced of that, the climate legislation process will be back on track. “Lindsey Graham will come back to where he is and never left,” Lieberman said.