OPIOID SERIES:

Lieberman: ‘detailed narrative’ of climate bill en route

The three senators are planning a climate and energy measure that scraps the “economy-wide” cap-and-trade plan that the House approved last year, but has not gained traction in the Senate.

It remains unclear if their approach – which might include a cap-and-trade program for power plants and a carbon tax or fee on motor fuels – can fare any better and win a spot on the election-year floor agenda.

They met today with a group of colleagues including: Finance Committee Chairman Max BaucusMax Sieben BaucusGreen Party puts Dem seat at risk in Montana Business groups worried about Trump's China tariffs plan Farmers hit Trump on trade in new ad MORE (D-Mont.), Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Debbie StabenowDeborah (Debbie) Ann StabenowSenators push HHS to negotiate lower prices on opioid overdose reversal drug Senators press administration on mental health parity Progressive groups launch M midterm initiative in three battleground states MORE (D-Mich.), Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinSen. Gillibrand, eyeing 2020 bid, rankles some Democrats The Hill's 12:30 Report Congress needs bipartisanship to fully investigate Russian influence MORE (D-Mich.), Mary LandrieuMary Loretta LandrieuSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Project Veritas at risk of losing fundraising license in New York, AG warns You want to recall John McCain? Good luck, it will be impossible MORE (D-La.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperGOP chairman probes Pruitt’s four email addresses Watchdog requests probe into relationship between top EPA aide and man investigating him Overnight Finance: Wells Fargo could pay B fine | Dems seek info on loans to Kushner | House to vote on IRS reform bills | Fed vice chair heading before Congress MORE (D-Del.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerComey memo fallout is mostly fizzle Pompeo lacks votes for positive vote on panel Heitkamp becomes first Dem to back Pompeo for secretary of State MORE (D-Va.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownTrump VA pick faces challenge to convince senators he’s ready for job Overnight Finance: Senate repeals auto-lending guidance, shattering precedent with vote | House passes IRS reform bills | Senate GOP fears tax cut sequel Dem Senator open to bid from the left in 2020 MORE (D-Ohio) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio). 

“We made a lot of progress I thought,” Kerry said after exiting the meeting. He also noted that he has been meeting with other Republicans.

Lawmakers emerging from the meeting – one of several that Kerry, Graham and Lieberman are holding with various colleagues –  called the session a broad discussion rather than talks about specifics or details.

“There were some interesting things that were discussed in there and like everything else in the United States Senate, the devil is in the details,” Voinovich said, noting he wanted to hear more about the plans. “There is more meat that has got to be put on the bones.”

“They are very anxious to work with us to make sure that what is in there is good for manufacturing,” noted Stabenow, while Baucus called the new effort “refreshing” and said it shows “new thinking.”

Less clear still is when the plan will morph into actual legislation. Kerry, asked if he envisioned introducing a bill by Easter (which is in early April), replied “that would be nice.”