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Sen. Graham walks away from climate and energy bill

UPDATED: 6:30 p.m.

By Juliet Eilperin

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) abandoned his effort to push a climate and energy bill Saturday, saying he would continue only if Democratic leaders promise to relinquish plans to bring up immigration legislation first.

Graham's departure likely dooms any chance of passing a climate bill this year. He is the sole Republican working with Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) on a compromise proposal that they had planned to unveil Monday.

In a letter to leaders of the effort to enact climate and energy legislation, Graham wrote, "I want to bring to your attention what appears to be a decision by the Obama Administration and Senate Democratic leadership to move immigration instead of energy. Unless their plan substantially changes this weekend, I will be unable to move forward on energy independence legislation at this time. I will not allow our hard work to be rolled out in a manner that has no chance of success."

He added, "Moving forward on immigration -- in this hurried, panicked manner -- is nothing more than a cynical political ploy."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) declined to assure Graham on Saturday that he would put immigration behind energy in the legislative lineup, saying he "will not allow" Graham "to play one issue off of another, and neither will the American people."

"As I have said, I am committed to trying to enact comprehensive clean energy legislation this session of Congress. Doing so will require strong bipartisan support and energy could be next if it's ready," Reid said in a statement. "I have also said we will try to pass comprehensive immigration reform. This too will require bipartisan support and significant committee work that has not yet begun."

The White House also declined to indicate whether it would address Graham's concerns, issuing a statement by climate and energy czar Carol Browner saying, "We believe the only way to make progress on these priorities is to continue working as we have thus far in a bipartisan manner to build more support for both comprehensive energy independence and immigration reform legislation."

Browner praised the three senators for their work on a compromise, adding, "We're determined to see it happen this year, and we encourage the senators to continue their important work on behalf of the country and not walk away from the progress that's already been made."

Graham told reporters Thursday he was outraged at the idea that Reid had raised the idea of bringing up immigration before an energy bill, especially since he and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) had spent weeks working on a bipartisan immigration measure and had not been alerted to the change in plans.

"Am I supposed to write every bill for the whole country?" Graham asked. "This comes out of left field."

Graham made a similar threat during the health-care debate, but he did not abandon the climate negotiating process. This new ultimatum poses a more serious danger to the bill's sponsors, however, because there is less time left before the fall election.

Bracewell & Giuliani lawyer Scott Segal, who represents coal-fired utilities and other industries that would face federal regulation under a climate bill, wrote in an e-mail that while the compromise proposal already faced the challenge of squeezing into a crowded legislative calendar, "It goes without saying: if Senator Graham uses immigration as a reason to depart from climate discussions, the chances that Senator Kerry can find the magic number of sixty senators to cut off debate and pass a large climate package diminishes significantly. Graham's active participation over the last several months had been the only real basis for needed Republican outreach."

The text of Graham's letter is after the jump.

April 24, 2010

Dear XXX,

I want to bring to your attention what appears to be a decision by the Obama Administration and Senate Democratic leadership to move immigration instead of energy. Unless their plan substantially changes this weekend, I will be unable to move forward on energy independence legislation at this time. I will not allow our hard work to be rolled out in a manner that has no chance of success.

Recent press reports indicating that immigration -- not energy -- is their priority have not been repudiated. This has destroyed my confidence that there will be a serious commitment and focus to move energy legislation this year. All of the key players, particularly the Senate leadership, have to want this debate as much as we do. This is clearly not the case.

I am very disappointed with this turn of events and believe their decision flies in the face of commitments made weeks ago to Senators Kerry, Lieberman and me. I deeply regret that election year politics will impede, if not derail, our efforts to make our nation energy independent.

I truly appreciate Senators Kerry, Lieberman, and their staff for the long hours of work. They have been tremendous partners who have negotiated in good faith and stood ready to make the tough choices necessary to bring forward a comprehensive energy bill.

I continue to believe our nation's reliance on ever-increasing amounts of foreign oil poses a direct threat to our national security and economic well-being. I know we can create thousands of jobs by pushing for a renaissance in nuclear power, expanded offshore drilling, and unleashing America's innovative spirit. One only needs to look to China and Europe, where 21st Century clean energy jobs are currently being created while we fail to act.

Like you, I share the belief that becoming energy independent and better stewards of our environment are complementary -- not competing -- standards. I was greatly looking forward to the opportunity to address these issues on the floor of the U.S. Senate as we pushed energy independence legislation forward into law. But it appears President Obama and the Senate Democratic leadership have other more partisan, political objectives in mind.

Moving forward on immigration -- in this hurried, panicked manner -- is nothing more than a cynical political ploy. I know from my own personal experience the tremendous amounts of time, energy, and effort that must be devoted to this issue to make even limited progress.

In 2007, we spent hundreds of hours over many months with President Bush's Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, and nearly every member of the U.S. Senate searching for a way to address our nation's immigration problems. Unlike this current "effort," it was a good-faith attempt to address a very difficult national issue.

Some of the major provisions we embraced in 2007 -- such as creation of a Virtual Fence using cameras, motion detectors and other technological devices to protect our borders -- have been scrapped for the time. Other issues we found agreement on at the time, such as a temporary guest worker program, have unraveled over the past three years.

Expecting these major issues to be addressed in three weeks -- which appears to be their current plan based upon media reports -- is ridiculous. It also demonstrates the raw political calculations at work here.

Let's be clear, a phony, political effort on immigration today accomplishes nothing but making it exponentially more difficult to address in a serious, comprehensive manner in the future.

Again, I truly appreciate the tremendous amount of time you have committed to the effort to make our nation more energy independent. I look forward to continuing to work with you so that when the U.S. Senate finally decides to address this issue we will be prepared for battle and confident of a successful outcome in the effort to make our nation energy independent once and for all.

Lindsey O. Graham
United States Senator

By

Multiplatform Editor

 |  April 24, 2010; 2:07 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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If this gives us the opportunity to put good public policy above political expediency by taking a serious look at a revenue-neutral carbon tax, so be it.

Posted by: SallyVCrockett | April 26, 2010 9:32 PM
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I really am against the way the Democrats are portraying the Tea Partiers. It's as if that's the only way that they know to campaign against the Republicans. I don't consider myself to be a "fringe nut job" but certainly don't like the way the Obamacare has been forced upon us. They have had their way since Obama took office and accused all others of being partisan and not wanting to work with the Democrats. The scene has gotten so ugly that I am really getting turned off on the politics of it all. America used to be a great place and could be again but for all the petty and nasty name calling and dirty tricks. ie. the TN Senators son who broke into Sara Palin's E-mail acct. Something's got to get better or we're liable to find ourselves living in a Third World type country.

Posted by: mantooth | April 26, 2010 10:00 AM
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Sen. Graham is worried about the immigration bill because of the wingnut effort to "out" him over the immigration issue. The Senator needs to come clean about the real reasons why he feels so strongly against the Senate taking up this issue right now. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with principles or Graham's "commitment to the climate change issue" and everything to do with the stories earlier last week.

Posted by: osullivanc1 | April 25, 2010 1:00 PM
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Wow! Is this a plan or what! Continue the aerial deadly spraying. Continue the attacks on all life because the billions paid our government cannot support addressing two serious issues at once. This country cannot deal with immigration and greenhouse gassing at the same time? It really is time to cut the payroll!

Posted by: wildernesslight | April 25, 2010 8:59 AM
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For a discussion of why regional cap-and-trade programs may be the better solution, visit:

http://donovanlawgroup.wordpress.com/2010/04/05/regional-greenhouse-gas-cap-and-trade-programs-may-be-the-solution/

Posted by: brianjdonovan | April 25, 2010 5:11 AM
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Good for Graham. What Reid has done in the Senate, pushing the climate legislation back behind immigration is politics as usual by the majority Democrats. Leading up to the passage of the healthcare legislation, Democratic congressional leaders, when they realized they lacked the support of the American people for passage, as indicated in all polls in the country, resorted to every trick and chicanery they could dream up to pass it.

Deem and Pass, reconciliation, the Cornhusker Kickback, Louisiana purchase, the Doc Fix, were a few of Reid and Pelosi's tricks. Then Obama stepped in near the end when Dems still didn't have the votes and gave Ohio's Kucinich a plane ride, and smoozed and lied to Bart Stupak to get the votes needed to pass HC.

So now the Dems are in even bigger trouble in November's election and they know it. So what does Reid do, he resorts to more political chinanery by pushing immigration reform debate ahead of the climate bill, not because he thinks the latter is less important, but because he hopes to galvanize Democrats and Hispanics with the less than rubber stamp response he knows he will get from Senate Republicans. It has nothing to do with the merits of immigration reform, or a climate bill, but everything to do with political expediency.

These Democrats, especially Reid and Pelosi need to be run out of town in November. No chance for Pelosi though, given she is re-elected again and again by the majority of her San Francisco district faggots who love their "mother" Nancy. But Reid's history, and hopefully the American people are smart enough and strong enough to say "No" to this un-American, socialist majority we now have in congress, who are more concerned about their party, building a larger constituent Hispanic base, and their own re-election than the welfare of real Americans.

Posted by: bbwk80a1 | April 24, 2010 8:45 PM
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cshotta wrote>>>America doesn't want the radical agenda of the Messiah with the thin skin!
No - you mean the "black skin" cause there's nothing radical about Pres. Obama's proposals.
Get off the Fox crack and get the Facts!
Posted by: angie12106

Try again kook. Barack Hussein Obama is as black as Vanilla Ice, yet has very thin skin-which is typical of liberals. Giving US rights to illegal aliens, appeasing terrorists and foreign leaders, Government motors, tripling our debt in 10 years-yep dork, that's pretty radical. And you wonder why so many democRATS are jumping from the sinking USS Obama.

LIBERALISM.....THE GUTLESS CHOICE!

Posted by: cschotta1 | April 24, 2010 8:41 PM
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Miss Nancy is having a hissy-fit, so ignores his job by abandoning legislation because he didn't get his way on another piece of legislation?

Posted by: thrh | April 24, 2010 8:37 PM
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Why is Lindsey Graham’s South Carolina a socialist welfare state?

** South Carolina taxpayers receive more federal funding per dollar of federal taxes paid than the average state. Per dollar of federal tax collected in 2005, South Carolina citizens received approximately $1.35 in the way of federal spending. This ranks the state 16th highest nationally and represents a slight rise from 1995, when South Carolina received $1.20 per dollar of taxes in federal spending, ranking it 18th highest nationally.**

http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/topic/57.html

--Republicans are national socialists—

Posted by: lichtme | April 24, 2010 8:31 PM
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WELL, TIMING IS STILL EVERYTHING, AS THE OLD SAYING GOES! THIS WEEKS'S CONFLUENCE OF THE ARIZONA STATE IMMIGRATION BILL'S PASSAGE HAS SEEMED TO PREEMPT THE DEMOCRAT'S DECISION, WHICH , I BELIEVE , WAS TO WAIT, UNTIL NEXT
YEAR AND HOPE TO HAVE THE NUMBERS, TO PASS IMMIGRATION REFORM AND NOW, THE REPUBLICAN
PARTY OF ARIZONA, HAVE GONE AND JUMPED THE GUN, SO I BELIEVE THEY, WILL, ULTIMATELY ENSURE THEIR PARTY'S ABSENCE FROM CONTROL OF CONGRESS, FOR PROBABLY THE NEXT 40 YEARS, ONCE 30 MILLION NEW HISPANIC AND LATINO VOTERS REGISTER AND VOTE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, IN THE 2012 ELECTIONS AND BEYOND ! THANK YOU, LINDSEY GRAHAM AND THE GOP !

Posted by: YANKEE57 | April 24, 2010 8:28 PM
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cshotta wrote>>>America doesn't want the radical agenda of the Messiah with the thin skin!

No - you mean the "black skin" cause there's nothing radical about Pres. Obama's proposals.

Get off the Fox crack and get the Facts!

Posted by: angie12106 | April 24, 2010 8:22 PM

Those that accuse others of being bigots are usually hiding something and bigots their selves.

Posted by: askgees | April 24, 2010 8:27 PM
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cshotta wrote>>>America doesn't want the radical agenda of the Messiah with the thin skin!

No - you mean the "black skin" cause there's nothing radical about Pres. Obama's proposals.

Get off the Fox crack and get the Facts!

Posted by: angie12106 | April 24, 2010 8:22 PM
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Obama should federalize the Arizona National Guard and take over all law enforcement in the State of Arizona as a civil rights matter.
If Ike and JFK could help blacks go to school in the Deep South in the 50s and 60s - Obama is justified to do the same thing in Arizona.
Posted by: alance


The only "rights" illegal aliens have is the right to remain silent, and that anything the person says will be used against that person in court; the person must be clearly informed that he or she has the right to consult with an attorney and to have that attorney present during questioning, and that, if he or she is indigent, an attorney will be provided at no cost to represent her or him.

LIBERALS.....AMERICA'S WEAKEST LINK

Posted by: cschotta1 | April 24, 2010 8:19 PM
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This is a real pain in the butt.

Posted by: jato11 | April 24, 2010 8:15 PM
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Graham is just catching to much heat in South Carolina for any dealings with Democrats this is not about "cap and trade" it's about keeping his job in a right tilted state and he is open to a right wing attack since he spent so much time campaigning for the "Maverick" last year and Sarah Palin to become President and VP, a complete waste of time. How did that benefit South Carolinians? Now they are attacking his sexuality here in South Carolina and that is from the right side of the public, they are accusing him of being a "closet homosexual" he will do anything to change the subject at this point.

Posted by: mikey30919 | April 24, 2010 8:15 PM
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So unless the Gov makes some rules LIB idi0t's can't change for the better??? Is there some reason that you can't simply do the right thing with out being told to or how too???

Posted by: askgees | April 24, 2010 8:14 PM
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What has immigration got to do with a climate bill or energy bill?

Better idea. Why don't these bozo's tackle the unemployment problem. They can start by levying big fines aganist companies that have exported of or are doing so now.

We can also use a large tax credit for the purchase of goods made in America, by American's, of American material, and by American companies.

Do the 435 terrorists in Congress want to support the US or not?

Posted by: Maddogg | April 24, 2010 8:13 PM
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Thank you Senator Graham for doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

The "climate bill" should be abandoned on its face because the overarching purpose of the legislation is to impose an energy tax that creates a new revenue stream the massive federal bureaucracy desperately needs in order to survive.

Given the rampant fraud and manipulation exposed by Climategate, it would be different if the "climate bill" forced the Supreme Court to revisit Massachusetts v. EPA.

Posted by: rbdwiggins | April 24, 2010 8:12 PM
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Posted by: hz9604 | April 24, 2010 5:24 PM

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO GET OBAMA OUT OF OFFICE IN 2012. WE MUST HAVE A BIG TENT GOP PARTY TO ACCOMPLISH THIS ALL-IMPORTANT GOAL.

--------------------

The GOP will remain a very tiny, exclusively white tent at this rate.

Demonstrate that you can be part of the solution instead of continuing the gridlock and ongoing farce in Washington. All your screaming will not persuade me or other moderates that your ideas are even worth listening to...much less good. I want my elected leaders to understand that compromise is how this very diverse land moves forward. Digging your trenches deeper, lobbing larger and larger bombs, screaming at the top of your voice and fomenting hatred and divisiveness will only lead to your continuing isolation.

There are over 260 million Americans, and the Republican party is a distinct minority who does ~not~ speak for me and other independents like me. Either work with us or fade into meaningless oblivion.

Posted by: chklbrry | April 24, 2010 8:11 PM
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There does seem to be a race to accomplish legislation before the November elections. The President should look @ which constituency matters more. He should also review which counter constituency he will encounter when he pushes each agenda.
On PBS, "Washington Week In Review," a good point was raised that there are some very heavy, deep pockets behind thwarting environmental issues. I don't get the sense that the environmental supporters of Cap & Trade would commit to an enormous spending program to get a bill that they can support.
On the other hand, unless the immigration bill is very, very clear about amnesty, and about rectifying the disparity between those who legally apply for citizenship, and go through the motions, and those who have sneaked across, or been ferried across illegally, then the opposition to an immigration bill will be truculent.
And, by the way, there's also the Supreme Court nomination, as well. Obama's legislative history prior to the Health Care Reform Act, was spotty. He can't assume that he'll be able to duplicate Health Care AND Financial Reform for Wall Street, AND the next three key initiatives without a bloody, bruising battle that could take an even more debilitating toll from House & Senate democrats.
Graham ought to be listened to, and courted with his own participation (and others), in mind. The Arizona law will generate significant furor as Arizona cops implement it. Challenges will arise almost immediately.

Posted by: zennheadd | April 24, 2010 8:09 PM
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We expect our leaders to display sustained quality...instead of turning whichever way the politcal winds blow. I applaud Obama for not caving into the extremists in his own party; the same cannot be said for Republican leaders.

The Tea Party is just the latest reinvention of the reactionary far right of the GOP. Once again, a tiny minority of what is already the minority party has yelled the loudest and thus received the most attention. Break up the GOP! Let these Tea Baggers form their own splinter party and see how much influence they have then!

If Republicans think they can persuade moderate independents by advocating for Tea Baggers, wait for November. My memory is not so short that I will not remember that when the GOP had the opportunity to stand up and do the right thing by this country, they instead kow-towed to the fear-mongering Tea Baggers.

That is not my definition of leadership.

Posted by: chklbrry | April 24, 2010 7:58 PM
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Obama should federalize the Arizona National Guard and take over all law enforcement in the State of Arizona as a civil rights matter.

If Ike and JFK could help blacks go to school in the Deep South in the 50s and 60s - Obama is justified to do the same thing in Arizona.

Posted by: alance | April 24, 2010 7:49 PM
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Didn't Graham threaten not to work with Dems on climate change last week if the wrong SC justice was put up for nomination? Someone should tell Lindsey that he is not paid by the taxpayers to throw tantrums.

Posted by: Sandydayl | April 24, 2010 7:40 PM
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These comments are something else :/

Posted by: moebius22 | April 24, 2010 7:39 PM
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there is a delusional

irrelevant insanity

of the obama regime

posturing for more billions of spending and tax waste with carbon taxes

while the usa staggers under unprecedented deficits

and unemployment remains high

a delusional malevolence unseen--

since hitler (we are NOT saying obama is hitler) in the bunker frnatically issued orders to non existent divsisions

obama--malevolently delusional

as the russians approached berlin

Posted by: praetorian-guard | April 24, 2010 7:37 PM
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The lying cheats and theives have just about stolen everything there is to steal.They should just go home with their loot.

Posted by: Imarkex | April 24, 2010 7:34 PM
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Not shocked! The GOP has prided themselves on being the party of "NO". The GOP has shown us and told us they are more interested in obstructing the Obama administration than doing what is right for the people!
Posted by: Jaimers


The party of "NO" is about to become the majority in November, and it's all because America doesn't want the radical agenda of the Messiah with the thin skin!

"DON'T BLAME ME, I VOTED FOR THE AMERICAN"

Posted by: cschotta1 | April 24, 2010 7:27 PM
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The world has come together and has seen what evil looks like. World leaders of all religions now have this common knowledge. Obama is the Anti-Christ, Devil on Earth, or what ever else you want to call this Demonic Figure. His words describe him, He is a False Hope, If you listen to him you will love him. He carries a Bow without an Arrow. He will conquer all through his speech, his false hoods will capture all who sit and listen to him.

Posted by: makom | April 24, 2010 7:23 PM
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Not shocked! The GOP has prided themselves on being the party of "NO". The GOP has shown us and told us they are more interested in obstructing the Obama administration than doing what is right for the people!

Posted by: Jaimers | April 24, 2010 7:21 PM
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Graham is intelligent. He's worried about having the far right in the immigration spotlight. This will certainly mobilize part of the Dem base and raise the turnout in Nov. Strengthening Dem turnout is very bad for Repubs.

Posted by: chucko2 | April 24, 2010 7:16 PM
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Sounds good to me. Taxing carbon is a bad idea.

Posted by: moebius22 | April 24, 2010 7:07 PM
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Another gutless, obstructionist Republican. And, of course, a South Carolinian, people who have no respect for themselves.

Posted by: dudh | April 24, 2010 7:00 PM
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We have learned to expect no better of any Republican. Most of that dying party, following the "leadership" of Bush-Cheney and disregarding mainstream science, rejects global warming as fact.
These losers point to any snowy or windy winter day as their "evidence" against global warming and scientific knowledge. I repeat:What laughable losers!

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | April 24, 2010 6:49 PM
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It is time to VOTE OUT OF OFFICE, the oldtimers in Washington of both parties. They are the rerason that this country is in the mess that it is.

As long as less-than-aware voters keep in office people like Graham, Kerry, Byrd, Lieberman, McCain, et al, the progress of the U.S. will be stalemated. Their primary interest as bottom feeders is to keep their office, help their friends get wealthy, and gain as much power and money they can while in office.

All the problems this country has is directly attributable to the pols of the last 30/40 years. It is not what is good for the country but what is good for them.

Vote OUT-OF-Office all incumbents of both parties and vote for term limits when possible.

Kick the bums out.

Posted by: ronrod17509 | April 24, 2010 6:46 PM
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It's the economy stupid!

Posted by: ssol4569 | April 24, 2010 6:39 PM
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First let me say that ALL politico's that have been in office beyond two terms are the problem, regardless of party affiliation. For my left leaning friends what part of "illegal" do you not understand? It is a federal crime, if a latino robs a bank (a federal crime) do we give him a pass? Why if I stop a latino in Arizona is that profiling, but if I ask a white male it is not, or if I happen to be assigned to the northern border, what is considered profiling there? Get a grip! Go by any LOWES, HOME DEPOT, NURSURY and see who is hanging, Latinos, are they to be immune to questioning? Perhaps if we were more discerning pre 9/11 we would have asked and found reasons to detain the erstwhile aviators that perpetrated that event, oh no profiling! If a black guy is seen running from a crime scene I should stop all white guys and not any black guys? You get my drift, get over PC and allow law to do their job, and let the excursions from protocol (violation of rights) be handdled in court

Posted by: osoumo | April 24, 2010 6:30 PM
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Certainly let's have a solid immigration bill. I have an ulterior motive - I want a good tax base. And it would be nice to have people coming in who have skills such as engineers, researchers, entrepreneurs, educators, medical, or maybe just people who have money to invest in the U.S. And climate legislation is needful - without the basics of clean water, air and arable land, we cannot eat. Consider the lack of fresh water - think Colorado River Basin, Ogalalla aquifer, think desalination plants. Think industrial farming with tons of animal waste oozing into streams, ponds, rivers. Flush your toilet, and take a drink.

Posted by: smittysprintshop | April 24, 2010 6:21 PM
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Cap and Trade is bad public policy. It is a tax on SOME carbon -- politically unfavorable carbon. It leaves politicaly favorable carbon emissions untouched. It provides a financial windfall to people who do not deserve it. If you want to tax carbon (and we should) tax ALL carbon output. Let the invisible hand of the market work its magic on the use of carbon. No bureaucrat or members of Congress can envision all of the permutations that a price-driven marketplace can. Use the resulting revenue to reduce our massive deficits.

Posted by: RBCrook | April 24, 2010 6:12 PM
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History will look back upon this generation of Republican Americans as the group that destroyed our next several generations' chances of living in a relatively chaos-free world.

Graham (and McCain, when he's not running scared for one GOP nomination or another) are about the only Republicans in office who give even half an ear to what scientists have been telling us for a decade or so. And now Graham is holding climate sanity hostage as a political football. That's sad. Don't you people find that sad?

Posted by: B2O2 | April 24, 2010 6:09 PM
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Fortify our borders. Jail global warming fraudsters. Next. josephlcooke.blogspot.com

Posted by: 1911a1 | April 24, 2010 6:03 PM
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If the Republicans are going to refuse as a bloc to ever allow a vote for legislation put forward during the course of a Democratic administration, do they really expect the Democrats to do it differently if they get in again? Where is democracy left if that's how it will work? At some point, refusal to consider the merits of legislation, just because it comes from the other side, and the merits be damned, is un-American.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | April 24, 2010 5:52 PM
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Poor Lindsay Graham, another Republican playing the game, "It's either my way or the highway." For those who still spew their caustic remarks about President Obama, you do yourself a great disservice. After eight years of "W," it is time the the United States focuses on our own needs for a change. Our infrastructure is falling apart, partisanship has moved to the boiling point, and the open hatred of our government is fueled by white supremists toting guns - not to mention failed financial institutions, a broken immigration system, and on and on. While Bush and company were playing their war games, the country was going to pot and the wealthy were raiding the treasury. President Obama was given a big responsibility on election day. He is earnestly trying to represent all of the people, even the retards who would prefer to call him names rather than to roll up their sleeves and pitch in and help form a better union.

Posted by: EarlC | April 24, 2010 5:49 PM
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I'm not a huge fan of Congressional politics in general, and I think it's important to listen to all points of view, but I've become so used to Republicans putting political strategy ahead of the good of the nation that I've almost stopped listening. And that's a darn shame. I used to be a Republican and they used to have something meaningful to say. But that was a long time ago. I lost almost all faith in congressional Republicans during the late 90s and through the anything goes, spend and borrow Bush years which made the current economic crises inevitable, and their slash and burn politics since the 2008 election has, I think, erased my last ties with the GOP.

Posted by: dogmo | April 24, 2010 5:45 PM
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I am more conservative than Lindsey Graham but I like him a lot. I think he has guts and he is smart.

Posted by: hz9604

Are you gay?

Posted by: James10 | April 24, 2010 5:45 PM
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He will surely be voted out, even if it is 4 years from now, if he is responsible for implementing Cap and Trade.

We will not forget who put this huge tax and the public.

Posted by: Independent109 | April 24, 2010 5:37 PM
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It looks like the Tea Party's threat last weekend to out Graham because he was straying from the right-wing agenda paid off. It's too bad when the mere threat of being accused of being gay can cause an elected representative to wilt.

Posted by: RetiredVeteran | April 24, 2010 5:26 PM
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I am more conservative than Lindsey Graham but I like him a lot. I think he has guts and he is smart.

If Hugo Obama choses immigration and amnesty, he is in for the fight of his life at a grass roots level. This country is fed up with every aspect of illegal immigration.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO GET OBAMA OUT OF OFFICE IN 2012. WE MUST HAVE A BIG TENT GOP PARTY TO ACCOMPLISH THIS ALL-IMPORTANT GOAL.

Posted by: hz9604 | April 24, 2010 5:24 PM
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Typical GOP leadership Delay and Obstruction on our countries most importent issues including financial regualtion and transparency of Derivatives, Swaps, CDOs and Credit Ratings agencies, on Jobs and Renewable Energy and now on immigration.

Posted by: liveride | April 24, 2010 5:23 PM
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The Dems are hurrying the immigration reform bill? Nope. Blame the sudden emphasis on the ludicrous Arizona law that essentially requires all Hispanic-looking people to carry a passport and/or birth certificate at all times.

Plus, Graham and others already have the immigration bill written.

Have fun in the 2010 elections, conservatives. The cost of several seats this year is the long-term destruction of your party. Racist anti-Latino laws in an increasingly Latino nation = GOP doom.

Posted by: EZE33 | April 24, 2010 5:22 PM
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Geez, Lindsey, what is the problem, have you never heard of multi tasking? Since your Republobuddies managed to delay the healthcare bill, we are a little behind schedule.

Posted by: rkerg | April 24, 2010 5:21 PM
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Wish I could vote to eliminate Graham from the Senate, but we leave this necessary move to the smarter voters of South Carolina. Go forth. Surely, you have better.

Posted by: Rivery | April 24, 2010 5:20 PM
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Keep it up Harry. This will likely be your last great act of defience. The people of AZ have shown the voters of NV the way!!!!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | April 24, 2010 5:17 PM
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Kerry and Lieberman joined in with the Republicans in a Bi-partisan manner and gave us Nafta, a deal where the working class who are the base of the Democratic party were sold out to the Republicans. Kerry and Lieberman should run for re-election on their Energy Bill, so we can vote them out of office.

Posted by: umt123 | April 24, 2010 5:13 PM
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Kerry and Lieberman joined in with the Republicans in a Bi-partisan manner and gave us Nafta, in a deal where the working classes who are the base of the Democratic party were sold out to the Republicans..
Kerry and Lieberman should run for re-election on their Energy Plans...so we can vote them out.

Posted by: umt123 | April 24, 2010 5:10 PM
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The only cynical political ploy here is the petulant ultimatum offered by Graham. It is a feeble attempt to look like a right wing tough guy since he no doubt is getting heat for working with Democrats at all. Graham leaves a slime trail wherever he goes.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | April 24, 2010 5:03 PM
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Apparently I'm grossly unaware of the process in Washington. Why, given the number of paid elected officials, can't both issues be dealth with at the same time? How can we possibly do all that needs to be done in this country when we(they) can't multitask?! As a working mother of 3 (4 if you include my husband) I wish I could devote all my attention to a singular task. Quit the excuses and do your damn job!

Posted by: aksunderland | April 24, 2010 4:56 PM
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What a bottom feeder is Graham. He's long past his use-by date and needs to be sent packing next it's his turn at the ballot box.

Posted by: SUBLIMEWOODY | April 24, 2010 4:37 PM
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How is one related in any way shape or form to the other? I thought republicons wanted to fix the immigration mess? Guess the real message is that republicons can't be trusted to actually address any issues ever in any way. If all they can say is "no" that is what ever single person who loves America will say to them this November.

Posted by: John1263 | April 24, 2010 4:33 PM
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Hey Doright48, the only party screwed over this regime's power play are the Dims.

Posted by: Kansasgirl | April 24, 2010 4:24 PM
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Mr. Graham. You have obstructed every attempt this administration has made to correct very serious problems the United States of America has.

We need legislators who are ready to bring about responsible and creative change, to work on immigration, energy, our broken financial system, education of our children and the list goes on and on.

Mr. Graham if you are either unwilling or incapable of participating in a civil manner, please go home.

Posted by: hfaulk01 | April 24, 2010 4:23 PM
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By large most of the comments on here are naive. Sen Graham is exactly right. We desperately need an energy policy AND immigration reform. What he is saying is that he has been working for many months on energy as the first priority on the promise of the Dems that it would be. Suddenly the Obama Administration has declared immigration is the priority. Hello, ticked off Hispanic voters angry over Arizona's desperate attempt to protect themselves from illegal aliens! This is all about you! Before November, the Dems want to show you they care for you so much that you will vote Democratic. Never mind they are going to throw a bill out there that cannot pass or cure the problem, they just got to get on message before you vote. So Graham realizes that his effort for a bipartisan energy bill means little to the Dems when the coming 2010 election issues suddenly appear in the headlights on the road ahead. He realizes the Dems were just messing with him. It is his fault. He screwed up. He made a terrible mistake. He believed them. What a fool. But what we end up with is NO energy bill and NO immigration reform. The Dems are in election mode. Show is more important than substance. Appearance more important than progress. We are screwed.

Posted by: doright48 | April 24, 2010 4:17 PM
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"Moving forward on immigration -- in this hurried, panicked manner -- is nothing more than a cynical political ploy."

So said Sen Graham.................

And if it took him this long to figure that is how the dems operate on all their legislation, he doesn't deserve to be Senator.

Posted by: mlemac | April 24, 2010 4:16 PM
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So another republican Creates a reason to back off legislation he was championing in order to justify voting "NO!".

See ya in November republicans.

Posted by: knjincvc | April 24, 2010 4:15 PM
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So another republican Creates a reason to back off legislation he was championing in order to justify voting "NO!".

See ya in November republicans.

Posted by: knjincvc | April 24, 2010 4:14 PM
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these #$#%@$ pols cannot and will not walk and chew gum at the same time,until they determine what it best for them. immigration reform? BS deport ILLEGALS.cap obscene profits by the energy companies.price controls would work

Posted by: pofinpa | April 24, 2010 4:11 PM
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hick

Posted by: SofaKingCool2009 | April 24, 2010 4:11 PM
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I'm good with this. Let's pass the climate legislation and leave immigration reform on the table for November. That way, all the Latinos (and people of conscience in general) who are freaked out by this insane AZ law will overwhelm the teabaggers, racists, and corporatists at the polls who are hoping to help the GOP.

Good strategy, Senator Graham!

Posted by: SWB2 | April 24, 2010 4:05 PM
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It was getting uncomfortable for Graham to be doing the right thing on climate change, something that affects the health and economic well-being of every American and that gets harder and more expensive to solve with every day that passes.

So, he is now feigning surprise that national disgust at Arizona and its extreme "driving while Hispanic" law should make the immigration issue rise to the foreground, and that means he should stomp away, nose held skyward. For shame. Would a bill to help Haitian development that "jumped the line" have caused the same reaction? It was the result of an unexpected news event, too.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | April 24, 2010 4:03 PM
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Immigration is not so huge that it would maim the climate bill. It is an out for him. Yhe rush to immigration reform
legislation is to counter the new, potentially discriminatory Az. bill, human right violations waiting to occur on account of complexion. A political ploy?
Maybe, Obama is shrewd, but the bottom line
is- legal status will be determined subjectively which will lead to profiling
by race.

Posted by: huckstered1 | April 24, 2010 3:59 PM
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Way to go, Graham. It's not what's important for the nation that counts, it's what's important for you, and your party. He's mad at the Dems, so country be damned. A real profile in courage.

Posted by: Sutter | April 24, 2010 3:48 PM
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Lindsey Graham is one of those tired old pols who has been in Washington too long and should be sent packing.
Graham is one of the inept, corrupt, self aggrandizing, arrogant, "entitled",
parasitic, disloyal to the people, politicians in Washington who overlook their responsibility to the people for their own gain.
The mess this country is in is not the fault of Obama. It is the fault of the last thirty years of lousy political wheeling and dealing that is taking this country down.
Until and unless, the people vote these bottom feeders OUT of office, it will continue. Both parties are responsible.
Vote OUT OF OFFICE incumbents of both parties and vote for term limits when possible.
Kick the bums out.

Posted by: ronrod17509 | April 24, 2010 3:48 PM
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I get it, Grahamnesty is covering for his BBF until or if he's relected. I am definately starting to see a pattern here. The RINO'S have no intention of quietly going into the night.

Posted by: Kansasgirl | April 24, 2010 3:42 PM
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Posted by: LarryG62
Graham, like McCain is a liberal in hiding. He's a jerk who needs to be sent home ASAP.
*******************************************

Amen, Brother! Grahamnesty needs to be retired by the voters in his state. He and McCain have done as much damage to this country as the liberal Democrats.

Posted by: MikeJ9116 | April 24, 2010 3:37 PM
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MargieVogel wrote>>>I also back his comments that immigration reform should not be hurried,

Hurried?? Senators don't need to start from scratch. They already have a template - the immigration reform bill that failed in 2007.

Posted by: angie12106 | April 24, 2010 3:34 PM
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Graham, like McCain is a liberal in hiding. He's a jerk who needs to be sent home ASAP.

Posted by: LarryG62 | April 24, 2010 3:29 PM
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senatorsalesman wrote>>>Graham, like John McCain, is a Progressive Republican. Progressivism is a Cancer in America and Graham is a disgrace to the office he holds

Go for it, Righties! just keep parroting Beck and moving the Republican Party farrrrrrr right - out of sight.

Posted by: angie12106 | April 24, 2010 3:28 PM
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Lindsey Graham is very deceptive. Just recently, he said that the passage of health care reform would kill immigration reform. Now it turns out that Graham was not planning to help pass immigration reform anytime soon.

Posted by: mehuwss | April 24, 2010 3:26 PM
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How South Carolina can have the best Senator in Congress (Jim DeMint) and worst Senator in Congress (Lindsey Graham) amazes the hell out of me.

Graham, like John McCain, is a Progressive Republican. Progressivism is a Cancer in America and Graham is a disgrace to the office he holds.

Posted by: Senator_Salesman | April 24, 2010 3:20 PM
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I don't blame Senator Graham, I hope it doesn't come to what he says he will do, but I think under the same circumstances, I would do the same thing. I also back his comments that immigration reform should not be hurried, but instead it should be well thought out.This issue is much to serious to be used in a game of politics. And,I am a Democrat saying these things.

Posted by: margievogel | April 24, 2010 3:19 PM
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Graham is desperately playing politics claiming not to be. He's afraid to the Tea Party, that's what. Nothing gets done because everybody in the GOP is scared of being kicked out.

Posted by: DavidH3 | April 24, 2010 3:14 PM
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When Lindsey Graham speaks, I disagree with what he says nine out of ten times. This is one of those times when he is absolutely right. We don't need more of the useless give-aways to companies in the homeland security sector that were passed in the name Immigration Reform under Bush. We need real immigration reform that does what Presidents and Congresses have avoided for decades: acknowledge that people who come to the US illegally in search of jobs would stop coming tomorrow if employers would stop hiring them. In addition, we need to recognize the danger of having a drug state on our southern border. Why are we fighting a war in Afghanistan when we have a highly dangerous drug spilling across our souther border?

Congress has spent a decade pretending that the situation would go away if ignored. So did Bush. So has Obama. With this track record, it is laughable to think that Congress could pass anything but another sham between now and November.

Posted by: exco | April 24, 2010 3:14 PM
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Senator Graham: Since you are acting like a child. Instead of taking your ball and going home (a euphemism for kissing your fellow Republican's collective asses) why not do something that your conscience dictates like voting for financial reform and not voting or an immigration bill.

Oh I know I'm off base here. Why should you do something just because it is in the interest of, duh, your county?

Read Harv: http://theHARVview.blogspot.com

Posted by: HarveyY | April 24, 2010 3:12 PM
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Has there ever been legislation that makes the offenders do the right thing? When it's a fact, every time the government gets involved in an issue so important to the real working human beings in this country, they make matters impossible and only create a great vehicle for deception, fraud and waste by the oligarchy. So, go home, Mr. Graham, and take all your colleagues with you - from both houses and the Oval Office - you won't do the right things by us, anyway. You're all fired - I'm tired of paying you to screw us.

Posted by: Allfiredup | April 24, 2010 3:06 PM
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Oh, Bull. Graham is getting heat for even daring to work with Dems on anything. The immigration issue, in his own mind, gives him an out.

Posted by: Sandydayl | April 24, 2010 2:59 PM
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Why can't both pieces of legislation be dealt with at the same time, Mr. Graham?

Posted by: onifadee | April 24, 2010 2:47 PM
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