Friday, June 17, 2005
Senate Republicans will make a second attempt Monday to break a Democratic filibuster blocking a confirmation vote on John R. Bolton, President Bush's choice for U.N. ambassador, Majority Leader Bill Frist announced yesterday.
Democrats said they were ready. "It's unlikely that [Republicans] will have the votes on Monday," said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Democratic Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). He said Democrats are united in efforts to gain access to information from the administration about Bolton, some of it highly sensitive.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice lobbied from a distance for confirmation. "It's time to get an up-or-down vote on John Bolton," she said at a news conference. "He has answered questions. They have debated it."
For his part, Bolton meet briefly during the day with his two most vocal Democratic opponents -- Sens. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.) and Christopher J. Dodd (Conn.).
Dodd's spokeswoman, Stacie Paxton, said the senator asked Bolton to persuade Vice President Cheney to provide the Senate with information the Democrats have requested about National Security Agency intercepts.