Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Bolton Updates

Some new information on the state of the Bolton nomination from Wednesday's New York Times article by Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Richard Stevenson and its counterpart from Jim VandeHei in the Washington Post.

- House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, asked if Bush should appoint Bolton during a recess, replied "Yes. He should." Anyone surprised?

- Frist's predecessor, Trent Lott, has become the latest Republican to suggest that the White House hand over the materials requested by the Democrats. Of the Administration, he told the Times "It's a thin reed they're standing on."

- In an interview, Frist "did not sound optimistic" about the prospects of another cloture vote. He told the Times he was "encouraging" Republicans to talk with Biden and Dodd, saying "They've got a lock on the filibuster."

- John Warner of Virginia says he's in "quiet talks" with Democrats, trying to find a way out of the impasse over the disputed nomination.

- Senator Voinovich renewed calls for Bush to choose another candidate, saying he had several possibilities in mind. "If he sends someone over, we'll get it through - zip, zip." A 'top White House aide' is quoted in the Post as saying "That's out of the question."

- VandeHei notes the White House and Republican leadership in the Senate are preparing to "step up pressure on the same Democrats who recently helped broker a deal to end the filibustering of federal judicial nominees, in hopes that they can strike a similar deal on Bolton, White House and Senate aides said." He adds that rather than appointing Bolton over the July 4 recess, the White House is looking to try and woo Democratic support "for several more weeks."
- Also from VandeHei, "Two administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Vice President Cheney has made Bolton's nomination a personal priority and lobbied Bush to keep fighting for an up-or-down vote." Again, anybody surprised?

- Some more Republican reluctance to a recess appointment from Arizona's John Kyl, who told the Post he thought Bolton himself would oppose that: "Clearly that's not the next way to go into office," Kyl said.

Clearly is right.


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