WASHINGTON, June 28 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with senators on Tuesday to push for passage this year of a bill to fight climate change and revamp energy policy, the White House said.
The meeting, to be held at 10:50 a.m. EDT (1450 GMT) at the White House, will involve 23 Democratic and Republican senators, including Democrat John Kerry and independent Senator Joe Lieberman, who authored the energy bill that is currently languishing in the Senate.
Republican Lindsey Graham, another architect of the bill who later pulled out, was not on the list provided by the White House of senators expected to attend.
Other expected attendees included Republicans Lamar Alexander, Susan Collins, Judd Gregg, Richard Lugar, Olympia Snowe, Lisa Murkowski and George Voinovich.
Democrats on the list included Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Max Baucus, Barbara Boxer, Sherrod Brown, Maria Cantwell, Blanche Lincoln, Jay Rockefeller and Byron Dorgan.
Obama had planned to hold the meeting last week but rescheduled it in the wake of General Stanley McChrystal’s dismissal as the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan.
“The president will meet with a bipartisan group of senators to discuss passing comprehensive energy and climate legislation this year,” the White House said in a statement on Monday.
Obama has tried to harness public anger over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to build support for a bill that would increase U.S. production of renewable fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but with congressional elections looming in November, chances that the controversial legislation will pass this year are considered by experts to be slim. (Reporting by Jeff Mason, editing by Anthony Boadle)