John Kerry promises Lindsey Graham's vote on climate bill

As usual, the Senate went home for the weekend without finishing anything. But next week will be different!

By Alex Pareene

Published May 7, 2010 2:10PM (EDT)

The Senate has been spinning its wheels for weeks. We're told financial reform is a done deal. Yesterday, senators defeated a couple of amendments -- including the Brown/Kaufman SAFE banking amendment -- while pushing everything else, including Bernie Sanders' Audit the Fed amendment, to next week. (They'll consider working on a Friday if they have something seriously important, I guess.) Meanwhile Harry Reid and the White House have decided to push immigration reform next. Which upset thin-skinned amphibian Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who wanted to do climate change next.

John Kerry is going to introduce the climate legislation that he wrote with Graham and Joe Lieberman next week. And Kerry promised Graham would vote for it! Roll Call reports:

Of Graham, Kerry said: "He's going to vote for the bill" regardless of whether he's at the unveiling.

The Senate cannot do one thing at a time. Sen. Kerry should know this. I'm not sure how he expects them to do three things. (Sorry, four things. Next week is also when President Obama will most likely introduce us to his new Supreme Court nominee.)

Lindsey Graham promptly said it would be irresponsible to take any action until Democrats agree that we must continue drilling everywhere forever as millions of gallons of oil continue spilling into the Gulf.)

But at the moment, everyone knows that the best thing to do is just give Sen. Graham some space to throw his public temper tantrum, and hope that eventually he will calm down and throw his support back behind a bill he helped write. Then the whole thing can be defeated 59-41 with Kent Conrad voting against it for some reason.

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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Global Warming John F. Kerry D-mass. Lindsey Graham U.s. Senate