WASHINGTON – The White House and Republicans expressed confidence Sunday that John R. Bolton (search) would win Senate approval as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations after a bruising confirmation battle in committee.
"The president continues to have confidence in John. He believes he's the right person for the job," national security adviser Stephen Hadley said on "FOX News Sunday."
"And we're confident, we're pleased he's going to get a vote and we're confident that the Senate at the end of the day will agree with the president and John Bolton will be confirmed."
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10-8 on Thursday to send President Bush's nomination of Bolton to the full Senate without an endorsement.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., put a hold on the nomination Friday, saying she did not want debate to begin in the full Senate until the State Department provided more information about Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security.
Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., said Boxer wanted to ensure that a Senate vote on Bolton was not rushed.
Asked if there was any likelihood that Senate Democrats would try to stop Bolton's confirmation with a filibuster, which would require 60 votes to overcome, Biden said: "I'd rather have an opportunity for the president to come forward on the information we're entitled to that hasn't been delivered yet. ... It's much too premature to talk about filibustering Mr. Bolton."
Sen. Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate committee, told a cable news show that "a majority of senators are in favor of confirming John Bolton."
Lugar said the oil-for-food scandal now surrounding U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (search) "has brought a good bit of antipathy from many Americans, including many members of the House and Senate. So it's a rough terrain there, in which reform is going to be required."
"The president of the United States and the secretary of state have determined that John Bolton is the person that they want for the reform," Lugar said.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., said Democrats have yet to settle on a strategy for the Bolton nomination. "When we finally get the proposal from the Foreign Relations Committee, we can see what the tactics would be," he told a Sunday morning network talk show.
"I'm strongly opposed to John Bolton," Kennedy added. "We need a diplomat at the United Nations, not a bully."
The Senate has 55 Republicans, 44 Democrats and one independent. One Republican, Sen. George Voinovich (search) of Ohio, said at the committee hearing last week he intended to vote against confirmation of Bolton.
Voinovich called Bolton "the poster child of what someone in the diplomatic corps should not be."