This is unbelievable.
TWN just received news that in order to preempt Senate Democrats from objecting to a Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote today on John Bolton’s nomination to be U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., the Republican leadership is suspending all operations of the Senate today until the Hearings — which have now been postponed until 4:30 p.m.
Because Senator Frist’s office feared that a Democratic Senator would object to the Hearings on the Floor of the Senate at 2 p.m., the Republicans — in order to RAM THE BOLTON NOMINATION THROUGH — have gone into recess.
Why you might ask?
The Senate would need to have been in session for two hours for a U.S. Senator to be able to object to the Foreign Relations Committee proceeding with its business.
By stopping all Senate business — ALL business — and planning to reconvene at 4:30 p.m., the Republican leadership has preempted an option that the minority would have had to make the administration comply with Senator Dodd’s request for the National Security Agency intercepts that Bolton may have used to wage war against rival officials in the State Department.
I don’t know how Senator Lugar can tolerate such abuse of the minority. This is a disdainful and cynical move by the White House and Bill Frist.
It’s the ugly, dark side of winning — and it’s “tyranny of the majority” tactics.
So, stay tuned. The “business meeting” of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, at which a vote on Bolton might occur, has been moved to 4:30 p.m.
— Steve Clemons