Well, it’s fairly official.
John Bolton’s nomination will not be brought up this week. This morning, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist went through an extensive list of what he hoped the Senate would consider this week before going into July 4th recess.
Frist also mentioned a number of pending nominations that he hoped the Senate would move through. Not on that roster was John Bolton.
To bring up a Bolton cloture vote again this week, Frist would need to file a NEW cloture petition — which would have to sit and “ripen” or be considered by the Senate (theoretically) for at least two and usually three days. There is just no time for that to happen.
So, either the recess appointment will be made the following week (or Friday evening) — or the Battle over Bolton will continue after the recess period, which most people doubt.
There is no word now that Bolton will not accept a recess appointment. This seems to be part of the story that has changed — and whether Mr. Bolton wants the appointment under these circumstances or not, the White House may be using what leverage it has left on him at this point to insist he accept the President’s decision.
So, this is really just news that Frist made it official that Bolton will not be brought up during the balance of the week.
More to do.
— Steve Clemons