"The Senate climate bill sits on the brink of collapse today after the lead Republican ally threatened to abandon negotiations because of a White House push to simultaneously overhaul the nation's immigration policies.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has been under fire from conservatives for months for helping to shepherd a Democrat-led bid to tackle global warming via a "grand compromise" on energy. But on Saturday afternoon, he signaled the partnership could soon be over.
Graham promised to leave President Obama and Senate Democrats standing at the altar after they started pushing last week for a comprehensive immigration reform bill that he called "nothing more than a cynical political ploy" headed into the 2010 midterm elections.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) tried to intervene Saturday during a phone call with Graham. But sources on and off Capitol Hill said their conversation grew heated, and the duo ended up issuing dueling statements suggesting they were still miles apart. Hours later, Graham's two partners on the climate effort, Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), hastily scrapped plans to release the bill today during a press conference with top business, religious and military officials."