View Full Version : Democrat Block Attempt To Confirm Bolton - Bush May Install Him Anyway

06-20-2005, 09:17 PM
Democrats Block Attempt to Confirm Bolton


By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 32 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - Democrats blocked another attempt Monday by the Senate to confirm John Bolton to become U.N. ambassador, delivering a second-straight setback to President Bush even as he left the door open to temporarily installing Bolton on his own.

The Republican-run chamber fell six votes short of the 60 it needed to end Democratic delays that have prevented a roll call on confirming the tough-talking conservative. The vote was 54-38 in favor of ending the delays.

The tally 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.

Wielding a seldom-used power, he could install Bolton during the Senate's upcoming July 4 recess without the chamber's approval. Under the Constitution, 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.