A major effort to push a climate change bill through Congress this summer died quietly Thursday evening, as Senate leaders said they would instead focus on legislation aimed at cleaning up the oil spill.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is seeking re-election this fall in Nevada, said, “We know that we don’t have the votes,” the New York Times reports.
The announcement is in stark contrast to senatorial optimism from a month ago, after Reid, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and other senators met with President Obama at the White House. Back then, members of both parties expressed hope that they would reach a compromise sometime this summer.
But noticeably absent from that June meeting was Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who had been working with Democrats on climate legislation. With their announcement Thursday, Democratic leaders seem to have abandoned hope of reaching a bipartisan compromise.