Over the White House’s decision to push an immigration bill first. New York Times:
WASHINGTON — Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the central architects of the soon-to-be unveiled Senate climate change and energy bill, is threatening to drop his sponsorship of the measure if Democrats take up an immigration bill first.
Mr. Graham, Republican of South Carolina, has been working for months with Senators John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, on a far-reaching energy bill that they were scheduled to announce on Monday morning. But on Saturday, after Mr. Graham made his concern public, Mr. Kerry said the unveiling of the bill was being postponed, Reuters reported.
In a sharply worded letter to his colleagues released on Saturday, Mr. Graham said that he was troubled by reports that the Senate Democratic Leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, and the White House were planning to debate a new immigration measure before taking up the energy bill. Mr. Graham has worked with Democrats in the past on immigration matters and was expected to be an important bridge to Republicans on that issue, as well as on energy.
Progress on an energy and climate bill in the Senate has relied heavily on Mr. Graham’s active participation and support. He is the only Republican to have formally endorsed a broad approach to dealing with global warming and energy issues and is needed to try to bring in support from other Republicans.
He said in his letter that energy must come first and that Democrats appeared to be rushing to take up immigration because of rising anti-immigrant sentiment, including a harsh new measure signed into law in Arizona on Friday.
And the White House responds.