Tags: Republicans | Push | for | John | Bolton | Re-appointment | U.N.

Republicans Push for John Bolton Re-appointment to U.N.

Wednesday, 06 September 2006 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON -- Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday said they hoped the committee will vote later this week to keep John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, as Bolton picked up public support from one of two wavering Republicans.

"We expect a party line vote to take place on Thursday morning, with no change in schedule," said Andy Fisher, spokesman for Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, the committee chairman. Lugar later told reporters "it appears that way" that all committee Republicans would back Bolton.

A spokesman for Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said the senator held "a direct and honest conversation" with Bolton Tuesday and would support him. A spokesman for Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island earlier Tuesday said the senator had not reached a decision.

Committee Republicans will aim to stick together against Democrats' opposition to Bolton, who has served as U.N. envoy for the last year after President Bush bypassed the Senate and appointed him during a congressional recess.

The appointment expires in January when this Congress ends, and the White House wants him confirmed by the Senate to keep him for the rest of Bush's term, which ends in January 2009.

About 60 retired diplomats who served in Republican and Democratic administrations signed letters to Foreign Relations Committee members calling Bolton unfit to keep the job and urging his rejection.

The former diplomats, who also opposed Bolton's nomination last year, said in their letter that Bolton's conduct "has confirmed our misgivings about his probable ineffectiveness and his tendency to alienate others."

They said Bolton's "hard core, go-it-alone posture" has hurt the United States in the world body, and said "with so much at stake, our country cannot afford to permit John Bolton to continue his destructive course during the next two years."

But Republicans, citing the need for a strong hand at the United Nations during the Middle East crisis, have pushed for Bolton's quick confirmation.

Bush could reappoint him during an upcoming congressional recess, but Bolton could not receive a salary and he would be viewed as being in a weakened position.

Democrats said they would decide after the committee vote on whether to try to block a Senate vote on Bolton's nomination, as they did last year.

They contend Bolton bullied intelligence analysts to conform to his hawkish views in his last job as top U.S. arms control negotiator and his harsh criticisms of the United Nations made him unsuitable for the job.

But Bolton was getting help from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the powerful lobbying organization that has publicly praised him as a "strong advocate for the U.S. on issues that matter to the pro-Israel community."

(c) Reuters 2006. All rights reserved.

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WASHINGTON -- Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday said they hoped the committee will vote later this week to keep John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, as Bolton picked up public support from one of two wavering Republicans. "We...
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2006-00-06
Wednesday, 06 September 2006 12:00 AM
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