A Democrat opponent of President Bush’s designee for United Nations Ambassador, John Bolton, argues that the White House is stiff-arming Democrats over classified information and the Senate should put off a vote on the embattled nominee until next month. Read the story here:
We should delay this until we see that information; it’s a matter of right and wrong,” Sen. Barbara Boxer (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., maintained at the start of a second day of Senate debate over John R. Bolton’s fitness and qualifications. “It is right for us to get that information, it is wrong for the administration to withhold it.”
The Senate planned a procedural vote Thursday that Democrats hoped to win and force postponement of a confirmation vote until June. Democratic Sens. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut and Joseph Biden of Delaware asked other senators in a letter Thursday to support a delay. If Republicans win the initial vote, the Senate was expected to quickly approve Bolton, whom President Bush says would reform the United Nations.
Flap thought the “DEAL” on Priscilla Owen et. al precluded these tactics except in extradordinary circumstances.
Oh yeah, this is not a judicial appointment but just an executive one – so obstructionism is fair game.
Such a deal Gang of Seven?
The New York Times has this:
The Senate was scheduled to vote at 6 p.m. on whether to end the debate over Mr. Bolton. Shutting off debate requires 60 votes, and if Mr. Bolton’s supporters can muster at least that many, the Senate will then vote immediately to confirm him.
Should Mr. Bolton’s supporters fail to amass the 60 votes to end debate, a vote on confirmation may be put off until after the Memorial Day recess, meaning a decision would come on June 6 or later.
Republicans have 55 votes in the Senate, so if they can force a yes-or-no vote on the nomination Mr. Bolton is virtually assured of confirmation. On the other hand, Democrats can win a temporary victory by mustering 41 votes, enough to keep debate going for a while.
Democrats who oppose him have made it clear that they are not threatening a filibuster, or extremely prolonged debate, in an attempt to stymie the nomination. Rather, the Democrats say, they oppose an early end to debate, and they want the Bush administration to provide more information on Mr. Bolton’s handling of intelligence.
“I don’t think we’re being treated as a co-equal branch of government,” Senator Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat who has been a leader of the opposition to Mr. Bolton, said in debate today. Mr. Dodd and Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware, sent a letter to their Senate colleagues today urging them to support a longer debate.
The Senate has had enough time to consider this nomination.
President Bush is entitled to choose his own foreign policy team – after all he won the election. A fact unfortunately beyond the pale for Senate brain-donors like Senator Biden and Dodd.
Bolton deserves an up or down vote.
So, GET BUSY and VOTE!
H/T: Huffington Post