Kerry expresses confidence that Reid will push climate bill

Sen. John KerryJohn Forbes Kerry2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states When it comes to Colombia, America is in a tough spot 36 people who could challenge Trump in 2020 MORE (D-Mass.) is continuing to dispute suggestions that a new push by Democratic leaders to advance immigration reform legislation will prevent the climate bill he’s crafting from reaching the Senate floor this year.

Kerry, and Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCongress punts fight over Dreamers to March Pence tours Rio Grande between US and Mexico GOP looks for Plan B after failure of immigration measures MORE (R-S.C.) plan to unveil a sweeping climate and energy bill Monday.

“There are always people who think it’s impossible to tackle big challenges in an election year, but Senators Kerry, Graham, and Lieberman have been working overtime to produce an approach that can succeed,” said Whitney Smith, a spokeswoman for Kerry.

“The Majority Leader reiterated this past Thursday to them that he is committed to make this the year bipartisan, comprehensive climate and energy reform passes the Senate and Senator Kerry knows the Leader is tough and determined enough to make it happen,” she said in a statement.

A controversial new immigration law in Arizona that President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Energy: Dems ask Pruitt to justify first-class travel | Obama EPA chief says reg rollback won't stand | Ex-adviser expects Trump to eventually rejoin Paris accord Overnight Regulation: Trump to take steps to ban bump stocks | Trump eases rules on insurance sold outside of ObamaCare | FCC to officially rescind net neutrality Thursday | Obama EPA chief: Reg rollback won't stand Ex-US ambassador: Mueller is the one who is tough on Russia MORE criticized Friday is helping to propel the issue to the forefront of Democrats’ Capitol Hill agenda.

This is prompting speculation that immigration legislation will come to the Senate floor before the climate and energy bill, and perhaps keep the climate measure from the election-year floor agenda altogether.

Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidWATCH: There is no Trump-Russia collusion and the media should stop pushing this The demise of debate in Congress ‘North by Northwest,’ the Carter Page remake MORE (D-Nev.) has not commented on the sequencing of the measures, and last week called both issues priorities. Both immigration and climate legislation are controversial and face uncertain floor prospects.

On Friday Reid called the new Arizona law “another important example of why we need to fix our broken system.” The law has prompted criticism from Latino groups and other activists who call it an assault on civil liberties.

The state law gives police new powers to stop and demand documentation from people the believe may be in the country illegally, among other provisions.

“While the first step in immigration reform must include border security, we cannot approach this important issue in a piecemeal fashion. Republicans and Democrats need to work together to pass comprehensive reform that is tough on people who break the law, fair to taxpayers, respectful of civil liberties and practical to implement,” Reid said.