The press corps keeps reminding the White House that is has a Bolton problem on its hands. Scott McClellan, when asked about where the White House stood on Bolton gave the routine response of Bush still wanting an up-or-down vote. At the same time, Bill Frist said that there won’t be another vote in the Senate until there is “progress” made on negotiations between Senate Democrats and the White House.
Senators Biden and Dodd report that they have not been approached by the White House on Bolton for a couple of weeks now.
As reported by Vicki Allen of Reuters:
“We continue to believe that John Bolton should have an up or down vote on the floor of the Senate. That remains our position,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.
If that fails, McClellan declined to say whether Bush would favor bypassing the Senate with a presidential appointment while Congress takes its August recess.
“Discussion is still going on about Bolton, but we have to make some progress before we take it back to vote on it. We talked about it again this morning,” Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, told reporters after meeting with President Bush on Tuesday morning.
The real evidence of the White House abandoning Bolton will emerge when other candidates for the job begin positioning themselves in the media.
— Steve Clemons