Thursday, June 09, 2005

Frist Delays Bolton Vote?

Wednesday afternoon when he announced the Senate's schedule for the coming days, Majority Bill Frist glaringly omitted mention of the John Bolton nomination. Frist noted that today in the Senate Bill Pryor's nomination will be debated, leading up to a confirmation vote at 4 p.m. That will be followed by debate on two other previously-blocked judicial nominees, Griffin and McKeague.

Frist continued by saying "The early part of next week we will be having one more up-or-down vote. That will be on Tom Griffith, and then we will go to the Energy bill. We want to spend plenty of time to give everybody the opportunity to debate and amend. I expect we would spend that whole first week and likely into that second week which would give everybody the opportunity to come forward and express themselves ...". No Bolton behind door number one.

Earlier in the day, Frist noted on the Senate floor "As we try to complete the business we have been addressing over the last several weeks, the one remaining item we have not really settled on is the Bolton nomination. I filed a motion to reconsider that vote. There are a lot of ongoing discussions. That is very important business that we need to address in the near future, and we will continue to discuss, as we have over the last couple of days, what the appropriate time is for that nomination to be brought back. I intend to do that." [quotes from the Congressional Record].

Are recent erosions of support (including this possible gem from Arlen Specter just out from Steve Clemons) keeping Frist worried enough about whether he has the votes to invoke cloture that he'll delay another cloture attempt until after the energy bill? We can only hope.

[Update: Stygius has some added (and quite well-done) analysis on this. -- 1:27 p.m.]


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