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Graham: Draft May Not Happen Before Easter
March 10, 2010

Posted by: David Lungren David_Lungren@epw.senate.gov

National Journal

Graham: Draft May Not Happen Before Easter

Amy Harder

Tuesday, March 9, 2010 4:45 PM

Link to Article

The Senate trio crafting climate and energy legislation may not have a draft bill by the Easter recess, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said today at the Capitol before meeting with other senators at the White House to discuss the issue.

When asked if the trio, which also includes Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, I/D-Conn., would have a draft bill or outline by Easter break, which goes for two weeks beginning March 29, Graham replied: "Sooner rather than later. I don't know if we can get it done that soon. But hopefully by the end of the month." If a draft isn't announced by the break, then it could be delayed until mid-April.

The possible delay may be a sign that garnering support for a comprehensive bill that includes a cap on emissions is growing more difficult as more senators weigh in on the process. When reporters today asked Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, whether she could support a sector-by-sector cap on emissions -- something that is reportedly included in the trio's draft -- Collins was noncommittal: "Their approach seems to be a moving target... I'm not sure what they're going to finally settle on."

Impatience over the stalled process is growing. Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who has largely been sidelined from the climate negotiations and has insisted in the past that an economy-wide cap-and-trade system is essential, signaled today she may be open to supporting something less than that. "I'm open to all these great ideas as long as we can get to 60 and get going," she said when asked whether she could support a sector-by-sector approach.

Collins and Boxer were also scheduled to attend the White House meeting this afternoon.

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