Reid Leaves Door Open To Moving On Energy Bill Before Immigration Reform

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April 27, 2010 10:59 a.m.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hinted today that the Senate may take up climate change legislation before it figures out what to do on immigration.

“The energy bill is much further down the road…. Common sense dictates that if you have a bill that’s ready to go, that’s the one I’m going to go to,” Reid told reporters at his weekly press conference this afternoon. “The energy bill is ready and we’ll move that more quickly than the bill we don’t have. I don’t have an immigration bill.”What’s next on the agenda for Democrats after financial reform has been up in the air. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) have been hammering out a compromise bill on climate change — and were prepared to unveil their product on Monday. But, Graham balked at the last minute, accusing the Democrats of punting on the issue to instead focus on an election-year immigration bill. Reid responded over the weekend, saying that both immigration and climate change are top priorities. “I will not allow him to play one issue off of another,” Reid said of Graham.

Reid told reporters today he spoke to Graham on Saturday, and told Graham, who has been instrumental in crafting the energy legislation, that he was prepared to move on energy first.

Reporting by Brian Beutler

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