I’ve been off at a board and staff retreat of the New America Foundation and just back to town today — so apologies for being offline.
Today, the second attempt to secure cloture on the John Bolton nomination as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations will occur at 6 p.m.
The White House has yielded on nothing. Nothing.
It’s remarkable — and heavy-handed.
Senator Mark Pryor plans to defect from those supporting cloture and will stand with those Democrats who believe that there is a larger principle at stake regarding the Senate’s right to expect the Executive Branch to comply with legitimate document and information requests when considering political appointments subject to Senate confirmation.
John Bolton’s nomination will fail yet again today.
Lots on the Republican side are now saying that a recess appointment is likely. It would be a historic decision as the July 4th recess is only five days — and during the last 20 years, the shortest period of recess for such an appointment was 10 days.
But this administration is precedent-setting in many ways. Recess appointments are the President’s right. If he wants to send his embattled nominee who failed to get confirmation in a Republican-controlled Congress, there is little that can be done to stop it.
But those in this battle who stood for principled American engagement in the world and who want to make international treaties and institutions instruments that promote American security as well as global stability and well-being will have won the war on Bolton.
More in a bit. I need to wake up after a late night flight.
— Steve Clemons