Nike, eBay, and Other Companies Press Senate on Stalled Climate Bill As Negotiations Continue
An array of companies including Nike, eBay, Levi Strauss and Starbucks on Wednesday pressed the Senate to get stalled climate and energy legislation “back on track.”
“Every day the Senate fails to pass comprehensive climate and energy legislation is a day our economy falls another step behind and delays our ability to create millions of new American jobs,” states an open letter from the business coalition We Can Lead.
The letter is the latest effort by climate advocates to revive legislation that has been imperiled by a partisan battle over immigration reform.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has withdrawn his support for advancing the climate and energy measure he’s crafting with Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). Graham is furious that Senate Democratic leaders plan to bring up immigration legislation, which he calls a political gambit more than a serious effort to legislate.
Graham argues that having immigration in the queue creates a toxic political atmosphere that would sink the climate plan, despite Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) intention to bring the climate and energy bill to the floor first.
Negotiations aimed at resolving the impasse continue. “Obviously we are in contact with Senator Graham, as are leaders on the Hill,” White House spokesman Bill Burton said Tuesday.
Graham has been a key GOP negotiator on immigration reform. But he argues that Reid and the White House are pushing ahead with legislation that won't pass, but will plunge the Senate into a divisive fight that's bad for the country and hinder future efforts to address the issue.
Graham continued to insist Tuesday that having immigration on the table at all this year would kill the climate bill. “So you think we are going to be able to have a healthy, honest debate between now and November about energy and climate, and then have the most contentious, raw political debate on immigration, and everybody is okay with that?” Graham said in comments to reporters Tuesday evening.
“If you cared about energy and climate . . . why would you do this, knowing immigration is going nowhere? Why would you do this to energy and climate?” he continued. “It’s a tip off to me that they don’t really care that much about energy and climate, because if you cared about it, you would not put immigration in the queue in a way to hurt immigration or energy and climate.”