President Obama is likely to announce "major initiatives" on energy and climate change in his State of the Union address, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said Monday.
Kerry, the informal leader of the Senate effort to pass legislation to rein in global warming, encouraged the president to announce ambitious plans on energy and climate policy during Tuesday's speech, and said he expected Obama to do so.
"I hope that the president tomorrow, in his SOTU address, will embrace major initiatives — I expect him to," Kerry said on WBUR radio in reference to energy and climate legislation.
Kerry had sought, with the Obama administration's support, to craft bipartisan legislation with Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that addressed energy and climate issues. But those talks eventually collapsed, and Republican senators refused to agree to move ahead with a much more scaled-down energy bill toward the end of last year.
"I'm very frustrated that we weren't able to achieve that," Kerry said of last year's stalled efforts.
Since that point, the elections put the House in GOP control and strengthened Republicans' hand in the Senate, where they now control 47 seats. Those changes have led outside observers to conclude that new regulations would only be more difficult to pass through Congress. Nonetheless, Kerry said he was optimistic.
"I'm hoping that reason can take hold here, that we can find a critical mass here in the House and Senate that can recognize truth," the Massachusetts Democrat said.
"The president will put some proposals on the table tomorrow. Let's see how the Republicans receive it," he added. "I will use every power I have — every breath I have — to fight against that partisanship and unreasonableness."