Before this evening’s cloture vote on the motion to proceed, the sponsors of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act held a press conference, mostly repeating things we’ve already heard from them. Two interesting topics came up, though: McCain and nukes. And, of course, McCain on nukes.
John Warner (R-Va.) took the opportunity to tout nuclear power and the amendment he and Lieberman have put together that would insert explicit support for the industry into the bill. “There is no solution to our energy problems without enhanced nuclear participation,” said Warner.
Now, it’s well-known that Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) says she’ll pull the bill if nuclear subsidies are added. She says she is amenable to support for safety measures at nuclear plants and worker training, but Warner and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) seem to want more. Warner said he doesn’t think Boxer will oppose the bill even if support for nukes is added, which is probably a bit of wishful thinking on his part.
“I look forward to seeing how this amendment goes,” said Boxer, adding that they’re all “looking for that sweet spot for legislation.”
The other hot question was about McCain: Is Lieberman mad that his friend hasn’t explicitly supported the bill, and says he’s not coming back for the debate? Especially since their nuke amendment is intended, at least in part, to attract McCain’s support?
Said Lieberman, “I think that Sen. McCain will support this bill in the end.” He added that just this morning he was at a meeting with McCain, and “he went into a riff about how important this climate change legislation is.”
The next logical question might be why, if McCain was in D.C. hanging out with Lieberman this morning, he couldn’t bother to come to the Senate to vote for cloture on the bill, or for the rest of the debate. But Lieberman didn’t go there at the press conference.
He did, however, express optimism about his bill: “We’ve got a fight ahead of us, but it’s an important one, and we’re going to win it.”