Key GOP senators are warning that the bitter health care battle could spill over into the climate change bill, delaying it or scuttling it outright. Normally clubby senators are nursing wounds and blaming Democrats for the fiercely partisan wrangling. “It makes it hard to do anything because of the way this was handled,” says Lindsey Graham, who’s working on the bill with John Kerry and Joe Lieberman. Republican support is critical, because Democrats are even more divided on climate change than they were on health care, Politico explains.
“Cap and trade has been delayed by the health care debate almost indefinitely,” agrees Dick Lugar, while Susan Collins, seen as a potential vote, describes it as “stalled.” Democrats, too, seem less than confidant. “We need to take a break around here before we try anything of any controversy,” says Chris Dodd. But John Kerry remains optimistic, saying there is “not a chance in hell” the Senate will “kick the can down the road.”