View Full Version : Officials: Bush May Appoint Bolton Next Week

07-29-2005, 03:30 PM
Officials: Bush may appoint Bolton next week
President may use recess appointment to get his man at U.N.


Thursday, July 28, 2005; Posted: 11:08 p.m. EDT (03:08 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush may use a recess appointment early next week to install John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations, two senior administration officials told CNN Thursday.

The move would likely inflame some Democrats who have said Bolton doesn't have the temperament to hold the U.N. post.

The administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, refused to put an exact time frame on when the recess appointment might occur.

But they suggested the White House is planning to make the move as early as next week.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan hinted at the scenario Monday, saying it might be need for "people ... that have waited far too long to get about doing their business."

"If the Senate fails to act and move forward on those nominees," McClellan said, "then sometimes there comes a point where the president has needed to fill that in a timely manner by recessing those nominees." (Full story)

Under the Constitution, a president has the power to make appointments without Senate confirmation when Congress is in recess.

Such a recess appointment would last until the end of the current congressional term, which would put Bolton at the United Nations until January 2007.

The president has repeatedly called on the Senate to confirm Bolton so that he can take up his U.N. post to deal with pressing issues, particularly a package of reforms proposed for the world body.

Democrats blocked his nomination after the White House cited grounds of executive privilege in its refusal to provide records of communications intercepts Bolton sought from the National Security Agency.

At the time, Bolton was the State Department's point man on arms control. He resigned as undersecretary for arms control and international security after being nominated to the U.N. job.

Democrats are also seeking documents related to congressional testimony Bolton gave in 2003 about Syrian weapons programs. They want to see if he exaggerated the intelligence.

Democrats have said Bolton doesn't have the diplomatic skills for the job, arguing he has dismissed the value of the United Nations and bullied subordinates and others until they agreed with his viewpoint on issues.

A former colleague testified in early April that Bolton was "a quintessential kiss-up, kick-down sort of guy."

The United States has been without a permanent representative at the U.N. since January, when former Sen. John Danforth resigned to spend more time with his ailing wife. Acting ambassador Anne Patterson is leading the U.N. mission in New York.

Senate GOP leaders have twice failed to break a Democratic filibuster and move Bolton's nomination to a floor vote.

Although the split has largely been along party lines, one Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, has joined Democrats in opposing Bolton's nomination.

CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report.