Bush Accepts Bolton's UN Resignation
Unable to win Senate confirmation, UN Ambassador John Bolton will step down when his recess appointment expires soon, the White House said Monday.
Bolton's nomination has languished in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for more than a year, blocked by Democrats and several Republicans. Sen. Lincoln Chafee, a moderate Republican who lost in the midterm elections Nov. 7 that swept Democrats to power in both houses of Congress, was adamantly opposed to Bolton.
President Bush gave Bolton the job temporarily in August 2005, while Congress was in recess. But the appointment expires when Congress formally adjourns, no later than early January.
Although Bush could not give Bolton another recess appointment, the White House was believed to be exploring other ways of keeping him in the job, perhaps by giving him a title other than ambassador. But Bolton informed the White House he intended to leave when his current appointment expires, White House deputy press secretary Dana Perino said.
Bush planned to meet with Bolton and his wife later Monday in the Oval Office.
As late as last month, Bush, through his top aides, said he would not relent in his defense of Bolton, despite unwavering opposition from Democrats who view Bolton as too combative for international diplomacy.
The White House resubmitted Bolton's nomination last month. But with Democrats capturing control of the next Congress, his chances of winning confirmation appeared slight. The incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Democratic Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, said he saw "no point in considering Mr. Bolton's nomination again."
[Source: The Associated Press, Washington, 04dec06]
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