Senate Leader Reaffirms Plans for Climate Bill Debate as Sponsors Prepare Bloc-To-Bloc Talks

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Senate Leader Reaffirms Plans for Climate Bill Debate as Sponsors Prepare Bloc-To-Bloc Talks

New York Times – The Senate's top Democrat said yesterday he is still dedicated to spending valuable floor time this year on comprehensive climate and energy legislation, but the three sponsors of the plan may have to go member-by-member in order to deliver a package capable of mustering 60 votes.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he wants to bring the bill from Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) to the floor later this spring or summer.

"We're going to really try very hard," Reid told reporters. Asked if the July 4th recess was his target for the floor debate, he said, "I don't have a definite time. A lot is waiting until we get the bill. I've been pushing very hard to get the bill."

Kerry, Graham and Lieberman are planning to release their bill (which is expected to place different emission limits on different sectors of the economy and expand domestic oil, gas and nuclear power production) next week to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22. "There's some issues we're closing out, discussing," Lieberman said. "But we're making progress, and as far as I'm concerned, we're still on track to introduce next week."

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