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Clinton to Senate Democrats: Climate Change Bill Key to Economic Growth

Former President Bill Clinton told Senate Democrats on Tuesday that tackling climate change is the key to growing the nation’s economy and its stature in the global marketplace.

“President Clinton came to the caucus, and in his matter-of-fact, substantive way, he talked about climate change,” Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said after the Democrats’ weekly luncheon.

“We know that we have to do something with energy. The issue before us is how do we do it?” he added.

Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.), who is leading the effort to craft a comprehensive climate change bill this year, invited Clinton to address the Conference. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) and Kerry have been negotiating for months on the issue and are expected to unveil an outline proposal before the Senate adjourns for the two-week Easter recess. Reid said Tuesday he plans to meet with committee chairmen soon to discuss a path forward.

“Because of health care and other things, that kind of got pushed to the side, but President Clinton being here was a real informational, educational half-hour today for all of us,” Reid said.

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