Peoria Journal Star

August 3, 2005

Illinois senators criticize recess appointment

BY Dori Meinert
Copley News Service

WASHINGTON -- Illinois' two Democratic senators on Monday criticized President Bush's decision to bypass the Senate and send John R. Bolton to the United Nations as U.S. ambassador through a recess appointment.

"John Bolton is the wrong person for the job and the decision to appoint him today will not serve American foreign policy well at all," said Sen. Barack Obama, who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a statement issued by his office.

A recess appointment permits Bolton to serve in New York until the opening of the next Congress in January 2007. He had failed to get confirmation in the Senate despite strong Republican support because a Democratic filibuster had blocked a final vote.

Obama said his doubts about Bolton came from the "credible allegations that Mr. Bolton sought to shade intelligence and sideline career intelligence analysts who didn't agree with his policy views.

"His history of inflammatory statements about the U.N. will also make it difficult for him to effectively advance U.S. security interests in New York and bring about necessary reforms to that institution," Obama said.

Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin described Bush's move to appoint Bolton while Congress is gone for its August recess as "a lost opportunity for this administration to regain American leadership at the U.N.

"The president has taken the decision as to who will be U.N. ambassador out of the Senate's hands," Durbin said. "Let us hope that Mr. Bolton rises to the occasion, works in a sincere way to restore our credibility in the world and fully engages in the hard work of representing our nation's interests in the United Nations."