Graham: Immigration would 'destroy ability to do climate change'

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDurbin: I had 'nothing to do' with Curbelo snub Republicans jockey for position on immigration Overnight Health Care: House passes 20-week abortion ban | GOP gives ground over ObamaCare fix | Price exit sets off speculation over replacement MORE (R-S.C.) on Thursday said the Senate is not ready to tackle immigration reform and that bringing a bill forward would be "CYA politics."

CYA is slang for "cover your a**."

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Graham also said moving ahead with immigration would scuttle the Senate’s capacity to deal with climate legislation. “It destroys the ability to do something like energy and climate,” he told reporters in the Capitol.

Graham has been working with Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care: Schumer calls for tying ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance | Puerto Rico's water woes worsen | Dems plead for nursing home residents' right to sue Crying on TV doesn't qualify Kimmel to set nation's gun agenda Trump knocks ‘fake’ news coverage of his trip to Puerto Rico MORE (D-N.Y.) on an immigration plan, but reacted critically to reports that Democratic leaders may try to move on the issue.

“If immigration comes up then that's the ultimate CYA politics,” Graham said. He warned against bringing up a bill in a “haphazard way.”



“This comes out of left field,” he said. “We haven't done anything to prepare the body or the country for immigration.” Graham said the measure he has discussed with Schumer is not ready, and wondered aloud what could be brought to the floor.

“It would be news to me if we've got one done [an immigration bill],” he said. “I have been working with Chuck, we have been making progress, but business and labor are not together on a temporary worker bill.”

Graham noted that the climate change and energy bill that he’s crafting with Sens. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryFor the sake of national security, Trump must honor the Iran deal Bernie Sanders’s 1960s worldview makes bad foreign policy DiCaprio: History will ‘vilify’ Trump for not fighting climate change MORE (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is supposed to be unveiled Monday.

“What am I supposed to do, write an immigration bill between now and Monday with Chuck?” Graham said.