Reid will huddle with chairmen on energy bill after recess

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he'll huddle with key chairmen after an end-of-month recess to discuss the future of energy and climate legislation.

Reid acknowledged the energy and climate bill set for unveiling Wednesday by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), but signaled he wouldn't figure out how to proceed with that and other energy and climate efforts until after the Memorial Day recess.

"What I intend to do after that is let this bill be seen by everyone that is interested in the subject, and I think the week that we get back after the Memorial Day recess, and I'll get all the chairmen together and take a look at what we need to do with energy for this year," Reid told reporters at the Capitol following a weekly caucus luncheon.

The majority leader has said that an energy bill would be one of the top Democratic priorities after they finish up work on Wall Street reform, though Reid has also said that the Senate's energy and climate bill might be less sweeping than what Kerry and Lieberman plan to unveil. That plan was negotiated in part with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who withdrew from the effort in recent weeks.

"I can do one this big because I have a couple of Republicans who would help me on that," Reid said Sunday on the Spanish-language network Univision. "But the big bill that we need to do, they are not helping us on that, but I can do a smaller energy bill.”

The House passed a significantly more expansive climate change bill last June in a close vote. Some Democrats had sought to advance similar legislation in the Senate, though those efforts stalled last year in committee.

Cross-posted to the E2 Wire.