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

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest