Senator Lugar is now considering options on how to manage action on John Bolton’s renomination to serve as Ambassador to the United Nations — requiring confirmation by the United States Senate.
Technically, Bolton was renominated last September when his recess appointment went into affect. What is different now is that the White House seems ready to push again for confirmation.
As Tony Snow said today, Bolton’s “renomination” is now pending. Little birds have informed me that there is a hearing already planned for next Thursday morning, 9:30 a.m., in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
John Bolton will be the witness.
Snow’s remarks today:
Q Do we have any kind of a time frame when the President will make a permanent appointment, if he’ll make a permanent appointment of Ambassador Bolton?
MR. SNOW: Well, he’s already — the nomination of Ambassador Bolton is still before the United States Senate. He was renominated right after the recess appointment. So that is a nomination that is pending before the United States Senate, and the question now is whether you move through the committee and have another set of hearings, or you go to the floor. So it’s a technical question. So he’s already done that.
I have now been informed by Senate-savvy lawyers that Bolton’s “renomination” is in the Committee.
It CANNOT go to the Floor of the Senate unless it is “discharged” from the Committee or voted out. It is unlikely to be discharged from the Committee without action as that would require a unanimous consent agreement.
That means that the fireworks begin again in the Committee — and attention comes back to the players and how they voted last round.
Senator George Voinovich has now flipped his vote. The question is who may flip the other way.
My answer is this.
IF SENATOR LINCOLN CHAFEE WANTS TO WIN in Rhode Island, he better reconsider his qualified support of John Bolton last round. The BOLTON VOTE will be blaringly large in the eyes of Rhode Islanders — all of the other votes on judges and Supreme Court appointments are a blur now — but Bolton is NOW and Bolton is news.
Lincoln Chafee better get ahead of this one. Last time he was dragged through and became a victim of his indecision — caught in a vice between Vice President Cheney and the many who were trying to speak to the more enlightened sides of him.
TWN will have much more on Chafee, his statements on Bolton, and why this matters to Rhode Island soon.
— Steve Clemons