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May 24, 2005
No Filibuster On Bolton

In a report on the continuing opposition of George Voinovich to John Bolton for his confirmation as UN ambassador, the New York Times reports that the Democrats will remove the hold on his nomination and apparently will not start an expected filibuster:

One Democrat, Senator Barbara Boxer of California, had sought to block a Senate vote on Mr. Bolton, saying she would oppose any vote until the State Department provided documents related to the nomination that the department has so far refused to hand over.

On Tuesday afternoon, however, a spokeswoman for Ms. Boxer said she had decided to lift a hold on Mr. Bolton's nomination. Ms. Boxer's spokeswoman said she would join with Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware in agreeing to a Republican plan to move toward a vote on Mr. Bolton after allowing up to 40 hours of debate.

It appeared unlikely that any Senate Democrat would try to use a filibuster to block a vote, Senate Democratic officials said.

This comes as a surprise, given the weakness of Bolton among the GOP caucus. A filibuster would have been almost impossible to beat. This development may point to a secret by-agreement among the centrist Senators who imposed their settlement on judicial nominations on the majority yesterday. Barbara Boxer was not among them -- in fact, she voted against cloture on Priscilla Owen earlier today -- but she may have been persuaded to allow Bolton to pass to a full vote in exchange for the agreement on judges from the GOP faction.

Beyond that, Voinovich's continued offensive against Bolton will rankle the base, especially in light of fellow Ohioan Mike DeWine's participation in the confirmation agreement. Voinovich made his decision to abandon Bolton without bothering to show up to the committee hearings. He refused to meet personally with Bolton afterwards. Now with all of the shenanigans going on in the Senate, the last thing the GOP caucus needs is another "maverick" showing up the leadership and the White House.

Ohioans should add Voinovich to DeWine for the Not One Dime campaign. His intransigence should be a lesson to the GOP caucus that Bill Frist does not have what it takes to put the majority we fought so hard to elect to any good use at all.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 24, 2005 11:36 PM

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» Package Deal? from The Jawa Report
Big Ed at Captain's Quarters notices that the threat of a filibuster on John Bolton has been removed. Was this part of the deal? Hmmm...I may have to rethink this.... [Read More]

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» No Filibuster On John Bolton from The Buzz Blog
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Tracked on May 25, 2005 11:57 AM

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