An eleventh-hour attempt by the Republican House leadership to save the unpopular Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) trade pact has apparently shifted into overdrive. If rumors abuzz on Capitol Hill are to be believed, members of Congress who seek CAFTA's defeat had best stock up on No-Doz and Red Bull. And if you're an undecided Republican, some hockey pads wouldn't hurt either.
The prospect of a recess appointment for John Bolton has loomed ever since a second cloture vote on the nomination failed last week. Now, as Congress approaches the July 4 holiday, Senate Democrats have stuck to their pledge to tie up Bolton's nomination until the president acquiesces to bipartisan requests that documents relevant to the nominee be released. But the White House has refused to do so. As it is not apparent that the White House will admit defeat and pull the nominee, George W. Bush may find himself in the unenviable position of being the first president to send an ambassador to the United Nations without the consent of the Senate.
As President George W. Bush sat down at a joint press conference with South African President Thabo Mbeki on June 1, he preempted a question about the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan, one of the topics of the two men's White House luncheon.
It had been 142 days since Bush had uttered the word “Darfur,” and this day, he spoke carefully. “This is a serious situation,” Bush said. Then he made a statement that would effectively end a dispute within his administration over the true nature of the war crimes in Darfur. “As you know, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, with my concurrence, declared the situation a genocide. Our government has put a lot of money to help deal with the human suffering there.”
Back in January, not long after Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist committed his caucus to the nuclear option, Senator John Warner came as close as he has yet in taking a side on the filibuster debate now at a rolling boil in the Senate. Not surprisingly, for the seasoned legislator, it came the way of a typically non-declarative comment: “I tend to be a traditionalist, and the right of unlimited debate has been a hallmark of the Senate since its inception. Without question, though, I am strongly opposed to the use of the filibuster to block judicial nominations."
About halfway through Senator Richard Lugar's droning opening statement in the May 12 conﬁrmation hearing of John Bolton to become the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a yawn made its way around the press table. And it lingered -- until Lugar ceded the ﬂoor to the incalculable senator from Ohio, George Voinovich, when our listless eyes turned lively and the laptops ﬁred to life. Would Voinovich break ranks and vote with the Democrats? Or would he duplicitously express his reservations before buckling to the administration's will?