Democrats and rebel-Republicans said on Friday that they would oppose Bolton’s second nomination as UN ambassador, which was submitted by Bush on Thursday.
Bush’s move, a day after he parted company with Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, sparked immediate claims by Democrats that his promises of bipartisanship following Tuesday’s midterm elections were hollow.
Bolton’s position expires when the new Congress convenes in January, and he would need to be confirmed to carry on in the post.
United in opposition
Democrats have been united in opposing Bolton, who is close to Dick Cheney, the vice president, and there is no chance he could be approved when they take control of the upper chamber.
Lincoln Chafee, a Republican senator who previously blocked approval of Bolton, said he would again vote ‘No’ in the senate foreign relations committee.
The Bush government, however, said Bolton deserved a vote.
Sean McCormack, a state department spokesperson, said: “We believe that he deserves an up-or-down vote; that if he gets such a vote that he would win it in the senate. He has been extraordinarily effective up there at the UN.”
But Chris Dodd, a Democratic senator and a fierce Bolton opponent, hit out at Bush for lodging the new nomination, on a day he promised to work with Democrats, following the rejection of congressional Republicans at the ballot box.
Dodd said: “Trying to jam this nomination through during a lame duck session may indicate that the president didn’t fully hear the voice of the American public and that is troubling.
“The president should immediately rethink this nomination.”