Connecticut’s Independent Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman is optimistic about passage of the climate/energy bill he’s been working on with Democrat John Kerry and Republican Lindsey Graham, according to National Journal:
NJ: And you think you’re going to find support from Republicans?
Lieberman: We do, and again, whether we get the votes this time is not clear. Interestingly, some of the same things that some of the Republicans are interested in are of interest to some of the moderate Democrats, who are not sure shots, not committed to supporting the bill. So, bottom line, yes, I think we have a chance at a sufficient number of Republicans and Democrats to get to 60. We’re in very intense negotiations with undecided senators in both parties. Do I think it’s possible to get 60 votes this year? I do. Whether we will or not remains to be seen….
NJ: Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., have a competing energy/climate bill and want senators to sign on to their approach. Can you win them over?
Lieberman: The good news is, we share the same goals and they’re prepared to price carbon. I think we just decided that for now we’re just going to go our separate ways. But in the end, I can’t tell you how this is going to happen, because I don’t know, but Senator Cantwell and Senator Collins and Senators Kerry and Graham and I are going to be on the same side.
Lieberman goes on to say he doesn’t expect confirmation hearings for John Paul Stevens’s replacement on the Supreme Court to interfere with his bill’s progress, because the Senate Judiciary Committee will handle most of that work, with little effect on the overall Senate. Could this one be easier for Democrats to pass than health care, since it appears they probably have a couple of Republicans in the fold?