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Saturday, May 28, 2005

Kerry, Boxer Work the Senate to stop Cloture on Bolton

The Post-Gazette acknowledges that this was a hard-fought vote.
Democrats block Bolton vote: Republicans fails to cut off debate on U.N. nominee (Friday, May 27, 2005)

From the Senate gallery, Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and John Kerry, D-Mass., ...as well as others engaged undecided senators in furious conversation to convince them to vote against cloture.

The LA Times reports these juicy nuggets:
...Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the minority leader, denied that Democrats were seeking to torpedo Bolton's nomination. He said Democrats were prepared to give Bolton an up-or-down vote after the administration provides the information that they have requested.

"We're not here to filibuster," Reid said. "We're here to get information."

"Maybe this will now get the attention of the president, the attention of the chief of staff, and they will take a look at the information we're seeking and realize that there's no reasonable basis upon which to deny us the information," said Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and leader of the Democratic opposition to Bolton.

Frist tried throughout the day to meet Biden's demand for information about records Bolton has requested over the past four years from the National Security Agency, the federal eavesdropping office that monitors overseas communications between Americans and foreigners.

According to a Frist aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the majority leader lobbied the administration to give Biden and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.) access to the records sought by Bolton.

Evidently the Bush Administration really doesn't want to let those records out, if they wouldn't even turn them over when their own Senate Majority Leader asked for them.

And for anyone curious as to why Frist voted "nay" on cloture himself, the LA Times enlightens us on that as well:
When it became clear that the motion would fail, Frist voted in favor of continuing the debate, a move that under Senate rules allows him to call the nomination up for a vote in the future.

I was wondering about that. Props to the LA Times staff writers, Mary Curtius and Maura Reynolds, for writing a nice, informative piece.

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