U.S. President George W. Bush expressed disappointment Tuesday over delays in confirming his nominee for Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton.
President George Bush accused Democratic Party leaders in the Senate of stalling a vote on his nominee for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. The Senate delayed confirmation votes last week on John Bolton after Democrats requested more information on Mr. Bolton's dealings with intelligence employees.
Speaking to reporters at a White House news conference at the Rose Garden, President Bush expressed disappointment. "He’s been through hearings and questions and questionnaires. You know, it's pretty obvious to the American people and me that you can tie up anything in the United States Senate if you want to."
Mr. Bush told reporters that Mr. Bolton, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, deserves an up or down vote on the Senate floor. But many Senate Democrats who oppose the nomination say Mr. Bolton's hard-line views would harm U.S. relations with the world body. Former employees have described Mr. Bolton as threatening and intimidating but President Bush says a tough no-nonsense leader is exactly what the United Nations needs.
"This is an organization which is important, it can help a lot in terms of the democracy movement," said the president. "It can help deal with conflict and civil war, but it's an organization that is beginning to lose the trust of the American people, if it hasn't already and therefore we need to restore that trust. We pay over $2 billion a year into the United Nations and it makes sense to have somebody there who is willing to say to the United Nations, ‘Why don't you reform?’ "
Questions about Mr. Bolton's nature and his use of intelligence information have raised doubts in the minds of some senators from both the Republican and Democratic parties. Last week a Republican effort fell four votes shy of the 60 votes needed to end debate. President Bush urged the Senate to vote saying the U.S. needs to get an ambassador to the United Nations as soon as possible.