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Another brave Republican bucks the Monkey President

Senate Democrats Block Bolton Confirmation

By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer 48 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats blocked John Bolton's confirmation as U.N. ambassador for the second time Monday and
President Bush left open the possibility of bypassing lawmakers and appointing the tough-talking former State Department official on his own.

The vote was 54-38, six shy of the total needed to force a final vote on Bolton, and represented an erosion in support from last month's failed Republican effort. Sen. George Voinovich (news, bio, voting record), R-Ohio, who voted in May to advance the nomination, switched positions and urged Bush to consider another candidate, while only three Democrats crossed party lines.

The setback left Bush facing stark choices — most of which could leave him appearing weak at a time he is facing sagging poll numbers and fighting lame-duck status six months into his final term.

Some Republicans urged Bush to continue fighting for Bolton rather than appoint him on his own during an upcoming Senate recess for fear of sending a weakened nominee to the
United Nations. "That would not be in our best interest," said Sen. Pat Roberts (news, bio, voting record), R-Kan., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Democrats have demanded the administration check a list of 36 U.S. officials against names in secret national security intercepts that Bolton requested and received. They also want documents related to the preparation of testimony that Bolton planned to give in the House in July 2003 about
Syria's weapons capability.

In remarks on the Senate floor, Sen. Joseph Biden (news, bio, voting record) of Delaware, senior Democrat on the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said White House chief of staff Andrew Card had offered to provide some information about Syria. "I indicated to him that was not sufficient," Biden said. Rather, he said, Democrats would give Bolton a final confirmation vote only when the administration provided all the information they seek.

"The vote we're about to take is not, is not about John Bolton, the vote is about taking a stand," Biden said. He called it "totally unacceptable" for the president — no matter the political party — to "dictate to the United States Senate how he, the president, thinks we should proceed."

At a White House news conference earlier Monday, Bush sidestepped a question on whether he would circumvent the Senate and appoint the fiery conservative to the ambassador's post when Congress leaves Washington for the July 4 holiday.

"I think it's time for the Senate to give him an up-or-down vote. Now," the president said.

Bush has the power to install Bolton during the Senate's upcoming break. The so-called recess appointment would only last through the next one-year session of Congress — in Bolton's case until January 2007.

Should Bush decide against that, he could withdraw the nomination or authorize further concessions to Democrats who are demanding access to information, some of it classified, about Bolton before they stop stalling.

Even before the vote, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., predicted the Senate would block the nomination again — leaving Bush in a ticklish situation.

"The president will have to make a decision whether he wants to send this flawed candidate to the United Nations," Reid said.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., accused Democrats of being unwilling to compromise.

"Some on the other side of the aisle are obstructing a highly qualified nominee and I believe by not allowing him to assume this position yet are doing harm to our country," Frist said.

Bush has said Bolton, with a history of blunt talk and skepticism about the U.N.'s power, would lead an effort to overhaul the world body's bureaucracy and make it more accountable. Critics say Bolton, who has been accused of mistreating subordinates, would hurt U.S. efforts to work with the U.N. and other countries.

Some Republicans argued that holding Monday's vote would at least put Democrats on record again of delaying final confirmation. That could provide political cover for the White House for a recess appointment or to withdraw Bolton's nomination by letting the administration claim they were forced to take those steps because of Democratic stonewalling.

Like the vote in May, Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana were the only Democrats to support the move to have an immediate final vote. Last month, Republicans fell four votes short of moving the nomination forward.

"We ought to move on and get a different nominee," argued Sen. Christopher Dodd (news, bio, voting record), D-Conn., one of Bolton's most vocal critics.

But Sen. George Allen (news, bio, voting record), R-Va., and one of Bolton's staunchest backers, said: "I would hope the president would stand by John Bolton and keep fighting for him."

Democrats say they want to determine whether Bolton improperly used intelligence to intimidate officials who disagreed with his views. They also suspect the Syria documents could bolster their case that Bolton sought to exaggerate intelligence data. And, they want to see if he misled the Senate during his confirmation hearings when he said he was not involved in the preparation of that Syria testimony.

No president has used a recess appointment for a U.N. ambassador since 1970, when the Senate Historian's Office began keeping records, said one of the historians, Betty Koed. Presidents have occasionally made recess appointments of ambassadors to countries, including
President Clinton's 1996 appointment of former Sen. Wyche Fowler, D-Ga., to be ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Always remembered in our hearts
82,160 Posts
I already posted that in the existing Bolton thread! ;) :D

Always remembered in our hearts
82,160 Posts
:D "Angelize Live at Five"....not your're just not quick on the draw! ;)

Moderator (deceased) Gone but never forgotten
47,973 Posts
LANMaster said:
No surprise Voinovich is opposing Bolton.
Watch how quick he vanishes from political life after he loses the '06 elections.
We'll see ;)

Hey, he could lose to a democrat!!!!!!!!! So one way or another republicans lose
Quite possibly.

I will concede that seat.
There will be others coming up soon too! ;)
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