The Associated Press (via the Washington Post) is reporting that the nomination of John Bolton as United Nations Ambassador will not be sent to the Senate floor anytime soon…
John R. Bolton’s quest for a longer lease on his temporary job as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations remained elusive Thursday as the Senate shied away from a vote to confirm him.
Sen. Richard Lugar, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said the Senate likely would recess later this week without voting on his nomination….
Lugar said that if one Democratic senator were to step forward and support Bolton, he might be able to set a committee vote before the recess. In the meantime, Lugar added, Sen. Lincoln Chafee, a Rhode Island Republican, is holding up the nomination with questions about the Bush administration’s Middle East policy.
Specifically, Chafee wants the administration to restrain Israel from expanding settlements in Palestinian areas on the West Bank. Bolton, as U.S. ambassador, has taken a strong and visible role in across-the-board support for Israel.
The Senate could still vote to confirm Bolton, after its electoral recess, when it reconvenes in November. However, Bolton’s best scenario for confirmation appears to be for Senator Chafee to be defeated in November’s election while the Republicans remain control of the Senate, allowing a different Republican Senator to take a seat on the Foreign Relations Committee.