By Ben Geman - 05/12/10 06:13 PM EDT
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) insisted Wednesday that multiple Republicans are interested in the climate and energy bill he unveiled with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).
"The President and [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid are with us,"
Kerry said at an afternoon press conference on the bill. "And I have
heard even several Republicans in these last days tell me in private
that they are encouraged by what is in this bill, and they are anxious
to review it and to work on it."
Finding GOP backing is critical because Democrats are a vote shy of the 60-vote majority needed to beat back filibusters.
Also, the votes of a handful of Republicans are needed to advance a climate and energy bill, because some Democrats are expected to oppose the legislation.
Reid noted recently that GOP backing is needed for the bill.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) helped Kerry and Lieberman craft the energy and climate bill but has stepped back from the effort. He argues that Democratic plans to bring up immigration legislation, and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, have made advancing the bill politically impossible.