The planned Monday unveiling of a bipartisan climate bill was postponed after one of its three sponsors, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), said that he couldn’t support the legislation if Democrats moved it to the backburner to focus first on immigration reform.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) announced the postponement Saturday evening, saying that “external issues have arisen that force us to postpone only temporarily.”
The postponement came hours after Graham wrote a letter to his colleagues calling the shift to immigration a “cynical political ploy.”
"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."
He added, "Moving forward on immigration – in this hurried, panicked manner – is nothing more than a cynical political ploy."
Kerry said that he, “Lindsey Graham [and] Joe Lieberman … all believe that this year is our best and perhaps last chance for Congress to pass a comprehensive approach. We believe that we had reached such an agreement and were excited to announce it on Monday, but regrettably external issues have arisen that force us to postpone only temporarily.”
He added that “Joe and I deeply regret that he feels immigration politics have gotten in the way and for now prevent him from being engaged in the way he intended.” (Continues here)