A Climate Bill, With or Without Graham?

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) may unveil their delayed climate and energy package next week. At least one senator is saying next week; Kerry would only tell reporters, “Soon, I hope soon,” when asked this week.

But will Lindsey Graham, their lone Republican ally, stand with them? That still seems unlikely, after partisan bickering over the legislative calendar prompted him to pull formal support for the package he’d been working on for nearly six months. Kerry told reporters that Graham “is standing by the work product and he is standing by the bill, no matter what.” But that’s not necessarily the same thing as cosponsoring it. But as Greenwire reports, Graham is still sending signals that he wants to be involved:

Standing in the Senate’s historic Kennedy Caucus Room, the site of hearings on the sinking of the Titanic and Watergate, the South Carolina Republican told a room full of environmentalists and Obama administration officials Tuesday night that he is still in the fight to enact legislation that caps greenhouse gases and expands domestic energy production.

“I’m not playing the game to win 43 [votes],” he said, referring to the high-water mark of past Senate climate bill roll calls. “I’m not in this to make a statement. I’m in this to win.”

Aides to Lieberman and Kerry are discussing the bill with representatives of the Chamber of Commerce today. The authors have been lobbying hard for the powerful business group’s endorsement, as the Chamber spent big last year trying to defeat the House climate and energy package. Getting the Chamber on board might speed its release. So, might we see a bill next week, at last?

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate