WASHINGTON -- South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham lashed out at President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Saturday for putting what he called "phony" immigration law changes ahead of a major climate- change bill that Graham and other senators said last week they were about to introduce.
Graham, Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut had scheduled a Capitol Hill news conference for Monday to unveil energy legislation they've been developing for months.
On Saturday, Kerry said he's placing the bill on hold. He said the delay is temporary and that he remains committed to passing comprehensive energy and climate legislation this year.
Reid, who's facing a tough re-election fight in Nevada, and Obama have indicated that dealing with the nation's nearly 7 million illegal aliens would be next on the Senate's agenda.
Obama on Friday criticized a new Arizona law authorizing a crackdown on undocumented workers, saying it shows why Congress must act soon to overhaul immigration law.
Graham, however, charged that "raw, political calculations" underlie the Democrats' new push on new immigration legislation, which he said has no chance of passing this year.
"A phony political effort on immigration today accomplishes nothing but making it exponentially more difficult to address it in a serious, comprehensive manner in the future," Graham said.