- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 7, 2005

The Bush administration yesterday rejected Democrats’ proposal for how to release some information to end their block on John R. Bolton, President Bush’s nominee to be ambassador to the United Nations, leaving him facing a continued filibuster.

“At this point here, at least based on conversations with a number of my colleagues in here, they would like us to remain firm and to vote against cloture if it comes up again,” said Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, Connecticut Democrat, who had made the proposal last week in a letter to John D. Negroponte, director of national intelligence.

Democrats want to see a list of Americans mentioned in intercepted intelligence communications viewed by Mr. Bolton, who is undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. Democrats said they want to make sure Mr. Bolton wasn’t using that information to try to bully intelligence analysts, which they say he has a habit of doing.

Mr. Dodd had suggested that Democrats provide a list of names that concerned them, and allow intelligence officials to review the list and assure senators that none of those names was mentioned in the communications.

But Mr. Negroponte yesterday rejected that offer.

“This is another political stalling tactic by Democrats who have already voted against the nomination,” said Erin Healy, a White House spokeswoman. White House officials have said senators have all the information they need to make a decision on Mr. Bolton.

Democrats voted two weeks ago to filibuster Mr. Bolton’s nomination, arguing that the issue is no longer Mr. Bolton’s record but now is a matter of executive and legislative powers. Democrats also are seeking information about congressional testimony that Mr. Bolton was supposed to give on Syria’s weapons programs.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday that Democrats are prepared to hold firm.

“The White House has an obligation to respond to a branch of government that is its equal. And that’s hard for the administration to accept, but I think they’re going to have to accept that before this Bolton thing moves on any more,” said Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Tennessee Republican, said he would schedule another vote on Mr. Bolton but didn’t have a timetable. Republicans said the next time they vote to end the filibuster, they expect to succeed.

“At some point, and the sooner the better, we’ll bring him up, and I believe we’ll have the votes,” said Sen. George Allen, Virginia Republican.

Democrats have charged that Mr. Bolton is not the right man for the U.N. job, given some of his statements about the institution. But U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said yesterday he is ready to work with Mr. Bolton if he is confirmed.

“I have worked extremely well with all the previous U.S. ambassadors. And I expect, if he is elected, I will be able to work effectively and cooperatively with him, as I have done with the previous ambassadors,” Mr. Annan told NBC’s ‘Today’ program, though he would not say whether he supported Mr. Bolton.

Charles Hurt contributed to this article.

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