On Monday afternoon, after failing to come up with the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster against John Bolton's nomination as the next U.S. ambassador to the U.N., some Senate Republicans were expressing qualms about the possibility that George W. Bush might decide to appoint Bolton to the post during an upcoming Congressional recess, Reuters reported.[1]  --  "Sen. Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the country would be better served by a U.N. Ambassador who was confirmed by the Senate," wrote Donna Smith. "Appealing again for a confirmation vote on Bolton, Roberts said, 'I hope that people will take a little longer look at our national interests and say that let's not go down the road to a recess appointment.'  Sen. George Allen, a Virginia Republican, said it was a 'legitimate concern' that Bolton would be seen as damaged goods and lack credibility if he is appointed rather than confirmed."  --  Bloomberg News said that "The Senate's failure to confirm Bolton has been an embarrassment for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, as well as the White House."[2]  --  AP's Liz Sidoti noted that the 54-38 vote represented "an erosion in support from last month's failed Republican effort," and reported that Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) was casting the matter as a vote, not on John Bolton, but on the Senate's prerogatives:  "'The vote we're about to take is not, is not about John Bolton, the vote is about taking a stand,' Biden said.  He called it 'totally unacceptable' for the president -- no matter the political party -- to 'dictate to the United States Senate how he, the president, thinks we should proceed.'"[3]  --  As usual, Knight Ridder was more attentive to Constitutional issues than other media sources, actually quoting the language of Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution that gives the president the power to make recess appointments, and quoting Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who said:  "They put partisanship ahead of the Constitution and the Senate's right to receive information from the executive branch of government.  Unless the president comes forward with information which we're certain we're constitutionally entitled to, Bolton will not get enough votes."[4]  --  Knight Ridder's James Kuhnhenn noted that recess appointments really amount in the modern era to a flagrant disregard for the separation of powers and such an appointment of John Bolton might be challenged in court:  "Historians note that the provision recognized that in the 18th century, Congress met only for three-month sessions and the president needed some latitude to fill executive or judicial vacancies when Congress wasn't at work.  Before the 1940s, however, few presidents made appointments during breaks in a regular session of Congress. Such appointments have since become common, drawing complaints in some high-profile cases. . . . Bush's most controversial recess appointment came in February 2004, when he named William Pryor to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta after Senate Democrats blocked his confirmation.  Democrats and liberals challenged that appointment in court, but the Supreme Court refused to hear the case last March.  Still, in a statement issued with the decision, Justice John Paul Stevens warned that the issue wasn't settled.  'It would be a mistake to assume that our disposition of this petition constitutes a decision on the merits of whether the president has the constitutional authority to fill future (federal appeals court) vacancies, such as vacancies on this court, with appointments made absent consent of the Senate during short intra-session "recesses,"' Stevens wrote.  Though Stevens specifically addressed a judicial appointment, Reid alluded to the case Monday.  'The president will have to make a decision whether he wants to send this flawed candidate to the United Nations, under an also-questionable constitutional measure which is being tested in the courts as we speak,' Reid said." ...

1.

BOLTON NOMINATION BLOCKED AGAIN IN U.S. SENATE
By Donna Smith

Reuters
June 20, 2005

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=8844129

WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats on Monday again blocked the nomination of John Bolton as U.N. ambassador, raising the possibility that President Bush may seek to bypass lawmakers and put him in the job without a confirmation vote.

Republican leaders fell six votes short of the 60 votes needed to end a procedural hurdle known as a filibuster and advance the nomination to a confirmation vote.

The Senate vote of 54-38 to try and overcome the filibuster came after Bush called for an immediate up-or-down vote on Bolton's nomination.

"We'll, put him in. If they're interested in reforming the United Nations, they ought to approve John Bolton," Bush said at a news conference with European leaders.

It was the second failed attempt by Senate Republican leaders to bring the contested nomination to a vote. The White House would not rule out the possibility Bush could appoint Bolton to the post during an upcoming congressional recess.

"It is critical that we get him in place," said White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

But Senate Republicans raised concerns about a recess appointment

Sen. Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the country would be better served by a U.N. Ambassador who was confirmed by the Senate.

Appealing again for a confirmation vote on Bolton, Roberts said, "I hope that people will take a little longer look at our national interests and say that let's not go down the road to a recess appointment."

Sen. George Allen, a Virginia Republican, said it was a "legitimate concern" that Bolton would be seen as damaged goods and lack credibility if he is appointed rather than confirmed.

"I would hope that the president will stand by John Bolton and keep fighting for him," Allen said.

Democrats are demanding that the White House release information they say is important to the Senate's review of his fitness for the job. They want to know whether Bolton, the top U.S. diplomat for arms control, misused intelligence and bullied analysts who did not conform to his hard-line views.

Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee charged the administration has "stonewalled" Democrats' efforts to get the information.

Dodd also cautioned against a recess appointment, noting that Bolton he would be the first U.S. nominee not confirmed by the Senate ever to go to the United Nations.

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card talked to Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about providing additional information on Bolton, but a source familiar with the discussions said they came to no agreement.

After the Senate action White House spokesman Erin Healy said Bush still wanted a confirmation vote. "It's unfortunate the Senate Democrats continue to play partisan politics with his nomination," he said.

Bolton, a fierce critic of the United Nations, is a favorite of conservatives. Bush and his Republican allies in the Senate see him as the right man to press for U.N. reforms.

Bush has on occasion issued recess appointments to sidestep Senate opposition to his nominees. He could do so for Bolton during the week-long Fourth of July holiday recess or during Congress' month-long August break.

A recess appointment for Bolton would allow him to serve as ambassador until a new Congress is seated in January 2007.

(Additional reporting by Thomas Ferraro)

2.

Top Worldwide

FAILURE TO GET VOTE ON BOLTON MAY PROMPT BUSH TO BYPASS SENATE
By Jeff St.Onge

Bloomberg News
June 20, 2005

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000087&sid=aaj60hD95_LU&refer=top_world_news

President George W. Bush may circumvent the Senate and appoint John Bolton temporarily as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a move some Republicans said might diminish Bolton's effectiveness.

The Senate's 54-38 vote last night on a motion to end debate on Bolton left Republicans six votes short of the 60 needed to override the Democrats' procedural stall and go to a final vote. This third delay in as many months prolongs a process that began when Bush sent Bolton's nomination to the Senate in March.

A decision by Bush to bypass Congress could come as soon as July 1, when lawmakers begin a week-long recess around the July 4 holiday, a White House official and a Senate leadership aide said yesterday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A recess appointment "would weaken not only, as you say, Mr. Bolton, but the United States," Senator Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican who heads the Intelligence Committee, told reporters in Washington. It's a "legitimate concern," said Senator George Allen, a Virginia Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee.

Democrats, led by Joe Biden of Delaware and Chris Dodd of Connecticut, say Bolton lacks the diplomatic skills needed to be U.N. envoy, that he abused subordinates and once tried to pressure intelligence analysts to change reports to conform to his views.

Democrats say no vote should be held until the Bush administration releases classified information involving Bolton that they sought weeks ago.

Supporters of Bolton, 56, dispute the criticism of his record and say he will strongly defend U.S. interests and carry out needed reforms at the U.N. He has won Senate confirmation to government posts on four previous occasions.

"DAMAGED NOMINEE"

A recess appointment would allow Bolton to serve in the U.N. post until a new Congress convenes in January 2007.

Such a decision by Bush would send "a damaged nominee to New York to do a job he says is very important, someone who doesn't have the support of the Senate," said Norm Kurz, a spokesman for Biden.

Presidents use recess appointments when they believe their nominee cannot get a fair hearing or a vote in the Senate; for weeks, Bush has been saying that Bolton has the support of a majority of senators. Republicans hold a 55-44-1 majority in the 100-member chamber.

Democrats blocked a full Senate vote on Bolton's nomination last month after the White House refused to release information on Bolton's receipt of names of Americans censored out of intelligence intercepts. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee in April voted to withhold its endorsement of Bolton when it sent his nomination to the full chamber.

EMBARRASSMENT FOR FRIST, BUSH

Senator Mark Pryor, an Arkansas Democrat who voted last night to close off debate and hold a final vote, said he's concerned about Bush using a recess appointment to get around Senate scrutiny.

"I would like to see him go through the regular confirmation process," he said.

The Senate's failure to confirm Bolton has been an embarrassment for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, as well as the White House.

Last night's 54 votes in favor of ending debate were two fewer than Republicans mustered May 26, and Frist then, in a procedural move, voted with Democrats.

"The president continues to believe John Bolton deserves an up or down vote," White House spokeswoman Christie Parell said after last night's vote. "Absolutely the president is going to continue to push for it."

"NEED TO KEEP FIGHTING"

Earlier yesterday, Bush refused to say whether he's considering a recess appointment. "Mr. Bolton should get an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor," Bush said in response to a question at a news conference with leaders of the European Union.

Republicans shouldn't lose heart to continue debate, Allen said. "We need to keep fighting for John Bolton," he said.

Democrats have no intention of backing down either, said Biden of Delaware, the senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.

"The next step is to give us the material on John Bolton," Biden said. "If they do it, they probably win."

Roberts, who has tried to broker a compromise between the administration and the Democrats, said he's hopeful negotiations will continue.

Without an agreement, Bolton's confirmation is far from assured, he said. "At this juncture, it's a pretty tough climb," Roberts said.

During his first term in the White House, Bush used the recess appointment process to elevate Charles Pickering and William Pryor to federal judgeships; he also used the maneuver to place Deborah Majoras and Jon Leibowitz on the Federal Trade Commission. Both Majoras and Leibowitz were confirmed during a second round of hearings, while Pickering retired from the bench.

3.

DEMOCRATS AGAIN BLOCK BOLTON NOMINATION, IN SETBACK FOR BUSH
By Liz Sidoti

Associated Press
June 21, 2005

http://www.cbc.ca/cp/world/050620/w062095.html

WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats blocked John Bolton's nomination as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations for the second time Monday and President George W. Bush left open the possibility of bypassing legislators and appointing the tough-talking former State Department official on his own.

The vote was 54-38, six shy of the total needed to force a final vote on Bolton, and represented an erosion in support from last month's failed Republican effort. Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio), who voted in May to advance the nomination, switched positions and urged Bush to consider another candidate, while only three Democrats crossed party lines.

The setback 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.

Some Republicans urged Bush to continue fighting for Bolton rather than appoint him on his own during an upcoming Senate recess for fear of sending a weakened nominee to the UN. "That would not be in our best interest," said Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Democrats have demanded the administration check a list of 36 U.S. officials against names in secret national security intercepts that Bolton requested and received. They also want documents related to the preparation of testimony that Bolton planned to give in the House of Representatives in July 2003 about Syria's weapons capability.

In remarks on the Senate floor, Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware, senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said White House chief of staff Andrew Card had offered to provide some information about Syria. "I indicated to him that was not sufficient," Biden said. Rather, he said, Democrats would give Bolton a final confirmation vote only when the administration provided all the information they seek.

"The vote we're about to take is not, is not about John Bolton, the vote is about taking a stand," Biden said. He called it "totally unacceptable" for the president -- no matter the political party -- to "dictate to the United States Senate how he, the president, thinks we should proceed."

At a White House news conference earlier Monday, Bush sidestepped a question on whether he would circumvent the Senate and appoint the fiery conservative to the ambassador's post when Congress leaves Washington for the July 4 holiday.

"I think it's time for the Senate to give him an up-or-down vote. Now," the president said.

Bush has the power to install Bolton during the Senate's upcoming break. 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.

4.

Politics

BUSH MAY BYPASS SENATE AS DEMOCRATS AGAIN BLOCK U.N. NOMINEE
By James Kuhnhenn

Knight Ridder
June 20, 2005

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/politics/11942576.htm

WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats on Monday once again blocked the nomination of John Bolton to be America's ambassador to the United Nations, setting the stage for President Bush to consider bypassing Senate confirmation by appointing Bolton while Congress is on a weeklong July Fourth recess.

Democrats complained that the White House has refused to turn over information about Bolton's activities while he was an official at the State Department, which they say is crucial to determining his fitness for the U.N. post.

Only three Democrats sided with Republicans in an attempt to end debate and bring up the nomination for a final vote. Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, a Republican who opposes Bolton's nomination, voted with the Democrats. Under Senate rules, Republicans needed 60 of the senators' 100 votes to end debate, but they mustered only 54.

"They put partisanship ahead of the Constitution and the Senate's right to receive information from the executive branch of government," Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday of the Bush administration. "Unless the president comes forward with information which we're certain we're constitutionally entitled to, Bolton will not get enough votes" to end debate on his nomination and move to a decisive vote, Reid said.

On Monday, White House officials told one key Democrat that they were willing to provide some but not all of the material Democrats had requested. Democrats refused the offer and cast their challenge to Bolton as a defense of the Senate's institutional rights rather than the merits of his nomination.

Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, conceded that the White House offered to compromise on Monday. Biden said White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card told him that the White House might grant access to documents used to prepare Bolton's congressional testimony in 2003 on Syria's access to weapons of mass destruction. But Democrats also wanted a list of 19 U.S. officials or U.S. companies whose names Bolton obtained from national security intercepts. The administration declined.

Bush on Monday called anew for a quick, decisive vote, as top administration officials left open the possibility of placing Bolton at the United Nations without Senate confirmation.

"It's time for the Senate to give an up-or-down vote now," Bush told reporters at a news conference with leaders of the European Union. "Well, put him in. If they're interested in reforming the United Nations, they ought to approve John Bolton."

Over the weekend, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice didn't rule out a recess appointment for Bolton -- a suggestion that infuriates Democrats.

The Constitution gives the president "power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session." Historians note that the provision recognized that in the 18th century, Congress met only for three-month sessions and the president needed some latitude to fill executive or judicial vacancies when Congress wasn't at work.

Before the 1940s, however, few presidents made appointments during breaks in a regular session of Congress. Such appointments have since become common, drawing complaints in some high-profile cases.

Asked whether Bush would act during the Senate's break, Rice told Fox News: "We'll see what happens this week."

White House spokesman Scott McClellan wouldn't foreclose the possibility either when pressed Monday. But he insisted that the White House was focused on getting Bolton confirmed. "We continue to urge the Senate to let him have an up-or-down vote on the floor," he said.

While the Constitution permits a president to make recess appointments, constitutional scholars have questioned whether they are appropriate in mid-session.

Under such a step, Bolton could serve only until the end of 2006, potentially weakening his influence when the United States wants to shape an overhaul of U.N. operations.

"My view is that, if Bolton were to go to the U.N. as a recess appointment, his standing would be considerably weakened," said Nile Gardiner, an analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative research center. "The Bush administration needs to force a vote in the Senate -- a full vote."

With the world body facing its biggest crisis in years and Washington demanding reform, "it's vitally important that Bolton go to the U.N. with the full backing of the U.S. Senate," Gardiner said.

Bush's most controversial recess appointment came in February 2004, when he named William Pryor to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta after Senate Democrats blocked his confirmation.

Democrats and liberals challenged that appointment in court, but the Supreme Court refused to hear the case last March. Still, in a statement issued with the decision, Justice John Paul Stevens warned that the issue wasn't settled.

"It would be a mistake to assume that our disposition of this petition constitutes a decision on the merits of whether the president has the constitutional authority to fill future (federal appeals court) vacancies, such as vacancies on this court, with appointments made absent consent of the Senate during short intra-session 'recesses,'" Stevens wrote.

Though Stevens specifically addressed a judicial appointment, Reid alluded to the case Monday.

"The president will have to make a decision whether he wants to send this flawed candidate to the United Nations, under an also-questionable constitutional measure which is being tested in the courts as we speak," Reid said.

A Web site on recess appointments: www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/RS21308.pdf

---

(Knight Ridder Newspapers correspondent Warren P. Strobel contributed to this report.)