By Ben Geman - 03/02/10 10:28 PM EST
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 BaucusWyden unveils business tax proposal College endowments under scrutiny The chaotic fight for ObamaCare MORE (D-Mont.), Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowWaterways bill eyed as solution for Flint Clinton to headline fundraiser with Senate, House Democrats: report USDA extends comment period for 'certified organic' animal rule MORE (D-Mich.), Carl LevinCarl LevinFight for taxpayers draws fire Gun debate shows value of the filibuster House won't vote on Navy ship-naming restrictions MORE (D-Mich.), Mary LandrieuMary Landrieu oil is changing the world and Washington Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Republican announces bid for Vitter’s seat MORE (D-La.), Tom CarperTom CarperWhite House seeks distance from ISIS transcript edit White House: Redaction decision was all Justice Dem senator: CDC already has authority to study guns MORE (D-Del.), Mark WarnerMark WarnerDrone use growing in surprising ways Overnight Cybersecurity: Pentagon cyber operations in the spotlight Lawmakers sound alarm over decaying Memorial Bridge MORE (D-Va.), Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownRNC strategizes against Clinton VP contenders Senate Dem won't rule out blocking Puerto Rico debt relief Dodd and Frank: Judge was wrong in Dodd-Frank ruling 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.”