State of the Senate: Lieberman and Warner Team Up

This post is by Mark MacLeod, Director of Special Projects, Climate and Air Program.

Climate Vote 2007

Part of a series on the work of the Environmental Defense Action Fund to enact an effective climate law. You can help by writing to Congress.

Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has long supported national cap and trade legislation to fight global warming. In fact, he helped draft the first bill more than four years ago.

Senator John Warner (R-VA) has steadily warmed to the issue and has acknowledged the significant threat global warming poses to our environment, economy and national security.

As they announced this summer, they are now working together as chair and ranking member of a key Senate subcommittee to draft a comprehensive national global warming bill to cap and reduce America’s emissions.

Senator Warner announced his plans to retire when his current term is up in January 2009, but his emerging support for effective legislation is a significant development that could trigger a broader shift in our favor in the Senate.

Senator Lieberman has said publicly that he sees a path to a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate of 60 votes.

“I won’t share my vote count with you, it’s a trade secret,” Lieberman said. “But I find that I now don’t need to make all that many optimistic assumptions in order to add up more than 60 votes in the Senate for strong, balanced, comprehensive climate legislation.”

There is still work to be done, including fine-tuning the language of the bill. But, the Lieberman-Warner bill could become the vehicle that gets the Senate to 60 votes.

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