[FoRK] Who needs congress anyway?
Adam L Beberg
Fri Jul 29 19:00:28 PDT 2005
Why bother with the democrats at all, just route around them. Neocons
think the UN is evil anyway, so why not Bolton?
Hail the emperor!
Officials: Bush Plans to Install Bolton
By JENNIFER LOVEN
Associated Press Writer
President Bush intends to announce next week that he is going around
Congress to install embattled nominee John Bolton as the U.S. ambassador
to the United Nations, senior administration officials said Friday.
Bush has the power to fill vacancies without Senate approval while
Congress is in recess. Under the Constitution, a recess appointment
during the lawmakers' August break would last until the next session of
Congress, which begins in January 2007.
An end run around the Senate confirmation process would certainly annoy
senators ? particularly Democrats ? at a time when Bush's nomination of
John Roberts to serve on the Supreme Court hangs in the balance. It also
could hamper Bolton at the United Nations, by sending him there as a
short-timer without the Senate's backing.
"There's just too much unanswered about Bolton and I think the president
would make a truly serious mistake if he makes a recess appointment,"
Sen. Joseph Biden (news, bio, voting record) of Delaware, the top
Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said in an interview.
Two officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the president
had not made the announcement and Congress wasn't yet in recess, said
Bush planned to exercise that authority before he leaves Washington on
Tuesday for his ranch. The House recessed on Thursday and the Senate's
break was scheduled to begin later Friday.
Earlier in the day, White House press secretary Scott McClellan gave the
strongest indication yet that Bush planned to do so, noting that the
U.N. General Assembly has its annual meeting in mid-September.
"It's important that we get our permanent representative in place," he
said. "This is a critical time and it's important to continue moving
forward on comprehensive reform."
Bush counselor Dan Bartlett said the president had not made a decision
on whether to make a recess appointment.
"He retains that right to do, but he will continue to work with the
Senate as long as he can," Barlett said. "But he has not made a decision."
Bolton's nomination, announced in March by the president, was
controversial from the start and has been stalled in the Senate by
Critics say Bolton, who has been accused of mistreating subordinates and
has been openly skeptical about the United Nations, would be ill-suited
to the sensitive diplomatic task at the world body. The White House says
the former undersecretary of state for arms control, who has long been
one of Bush's most conservative foreign policy advisers, is exactly the
man to whip the United Nations into shape.
This week, critics raised a fresh concern, saying Bolton had neglected
to tell Congress he had been interviewed in a government investigation
into faulty prewar intelligence on Iraq.
The State Department said Thursday that Bolton was interviewed in 2003
by the department inspector general. The office was conducting a joint
investigation with the CIA into allegations that Iraq attempted to buy
nuclear materials from Niger. Bolton had earlier submitted a
questionnaire to the Senate in which he had said he had not testified to
a grand jury or been interviewed by investigators in any inquiry over
the past five years.
Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee (news, bio, voting record) said he would
vote against Bolton ? if given the chance ? and would oppose a recess
appointment if it is accurate that Bolton's form was originally
incorrect. "Any intimidation of the facts, or suppression of information
getting to the public which led us to the war, absolutely should
preclude him from a recess appointment," said Chafee, of Rhode Island.
Also Friday, 35 Democratic senators and one independent, Sen. Jim
Jeffords of Vermont, sent a letter to Bush urging against a recess
appointment. "Sending someone to the United Nations who has not been
confirmed by the United States Senate and now who has admitted to not
being truthful on a document so important that it requires a sworn
affidavit is going to set our efforts back in many ways," the letter said.
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