In the meantime, Reid said, the Senate will proceed imminently with a much smaller bill that will tackle four goals:
It will deal with BP and oil spill liability, invest in the manufacturing of natural gas vehicles, create a jobs program -- formerly called Cash for Caulkers, now called Home Star -- aimed at increasing home efficiency, and put money back in the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Kerry described this as an "admittedly narrow, limited bill," but says he supports Reid's decision "because he's committed to do what we can in the time frame that we have before the August break."
Reid and Kerry, who stood at the mics with President Obama's EPA chief Carol Browner committed to tackling a larger climate and energy bill as quickly as possible.
"President Obama called me before this meeting and said, point blank, he is committed to working in these next days at a more intensive pace...to help bring together the ability to find 60 votes for that comprehensive legislation," Kerry said.
But with August recess fast approaching, and members hitting the campaign trail through November, the chances of passing comprehensive legislation this Congress are exceptionally remote.