Bush Loses Another Bolton Vote
Bush’s latest attempt to push a floor vote on John Bolton just failed when only 54 votes were obtained to cut off debate and push the matter to the floor for a vote. 60 votes were needed, and several Democrats were allowed to vote with the Administration once it became clear that Bush would lose again. Amongst the Democrats, Landrieu, Nelson, and Pryor voted in May to cut off debate and to bring Bolton’s nomination to a vote, and all three voted the same way again.
Yet Frist scheduled this vote on a day when Thune, Coleman, and Burns were apparently unavailable. And Bush formally lost George Voinovich today, who was the lone Republican to vote against Bolton. But even if these three did vote for cloture today, it would have been only 57 votes, and the truth is that Bush could not pull any more Democrats than the three over to his side.
So Bush wasn’t even able to get all the Republicans to back Bolton, setting the stage for a recess appointment. What kind of vote-counter is Bill Frist, and why would he schedule a vote if he didn't have 60 votes lined up?