Senate climate bill sent to EPA as White House aide calls Obama ‘confident’ of progress

Graham is upset that Democratic leaders plan to bring an immigration bill to the floor this year, calling it a divisive election-year gambit (there’s more on Graham’s view here). But he endorsed the delivery of the climate legislation to EPA, Capitol Hill aides said. The bill has not been unveiled publicly.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has pledged to bring an energy and climate bill to the floor before immigration legislation, but Graham wants immigration off the table this year entirely.

White House spokesman Bill Burton said Wednesday that President Obama is confident that Capitol Hill lawmakers will move ahead, calling the current dispute more about process than substance.

“On the substance, there is bipartisan agreement on what we need to do to move forward to help to decrease our dependence on foreign oil, help to increase our production of clean energies here,” Burton told reporters.

“And basically we’re just in the midst of a process question. And the President is confident that given the fact that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree on what we need to do to move forward, that we’re going to be able to make some very important progress on this issue,” he added.

While Reid and Graham are in a standoff, Graham on Tuesday evening held out the possibility that the climate effort could get back on track. “I don’t know what is going to happen in the next week or so,” Graham told reporters. “Let’s stay tuned.”