Player of the week: Sen. Joe Lieberman

Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut Independent who has a penchant for attracting headlines, is expected to put the finishing touches on a long-awaited climate change bill with Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). And on Monday, he issued subpoenas to the White House on the deadly shooting at Fort Hood in 2009.

It’s interesting that two of the three senators who are leading the climate change effort in the upper chamber backed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for president in 2008. But it remains to be seen if McCain, who is close friends with Lieberman and Graham and considered running with Kerry as his vice presidential candidate in 2004, will back their bill.

McCain is in the midst of a challenging primary against former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.) and has moved right since losing the presidential race.

Lieberman, meanwhile, is cautiously optimistic that he can garner 60 votes to pass what is expected to be much more centrist and narrower legislation than the climate bill that passed the House last summer and Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-Calif.) measure that cleared her committee last fall.

Still, Lieberman is facing a steep climb to pass such a controversial measure with a little more than six months before the midterm elections.
Kerry, Graham and Lieberman were expected to release a bill by now, but the formal introduction won’t come until next week. That means there will be plenty of lobbying throughout the week as the trio of senators tries to get the legislation ready for prime time.

Lieberman, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, who is working with the White House on climate change, said he is tired of waiting for key information on Fort Hood.

Lieberman and his ranking member, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), last fall said their probe of the rampage that killed 13 people would “require the prompt and full cooperation of the executive branch — cooperation that must start as soon as possible.”

Five months later, according to Collins and Lieberman, that cooperation has been insufficient.