WASHINGTON – The Democrats aren't likely to have enough votes to continue delaying confirmation of John R. Bolton (search) as U.N. ambassador, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Sunday.
Sen. Joseph Biden (search) of Delaware told a Sunday morning network news show that President Bush will "probably be able to win the vote, somewhere between 45 and 47 votes against, and he'll think it's a victory."
The Senate put off a final vote on Bolton late last month. Democrats claimed the White House was stonewalling them on the release of classified documents that might prove damaging to the nominee.
"The president can probably refuse to give us this information, which we're completely entitled to as the United States Senate, and that's the reason why we're not letting the vote go forward," Biden said.
Bolton, 56, is currently the State Department's arms control chief.
The material Democrats have sought for weeks involves Bolton's use of government intelligence on Syria, and instances in which he asked for names of fellow U.S. officials whose communications were secretly picked up by a U.S. spy agency.
Opponents of Bolton have cited his dismissive remarks about the United Nations (search), his reputation as an uncompromising and hotheaded conservative, and allegations that he shut out or retaliated against any voices of caution or dissent.
Despite his prediction that Bolton will be confirmed, Biden said, "It reduces the confidence in the administration, and ... the president will have lost more credibility, and lost support."