WASHINGTON – A leading Senate Democrat rejected a GOP offer on Wednesday to end the impasse over the nomination of John R. Bolton (search) to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Republican Sen. Pat Roberts (search), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, offered to disclose some information about secret intelligence intercepts that Democrats have sought.
Democrats want the names of U.S. individuals mentioned in the intercepts that the National Security Agency (search) gathered and that Bolton requested -- and received -- while he was the State Department's chief arms control official.
Sen. Christopher Dodd (search), D-Conn., turned down Roberts' offer.
"For Senator Roberts to decide on our behalf what we should be concerned about is most unusual," Dodd said.
Dodd said the Bush administration should provide all the information or accept last week's proposal from Dodd and Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del.
The two Democrats said they wanted the national intelligence chief, John D. Negroponte, to check their list of three dozen "names of concern" with the names in the intercepts.
Roberts said he was offering "one last good faith effort to alleviate the concerns" of Democrats.
Roberts said he drew up a list of seven names that Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee seemed to be most concerned about. Roberts said he asked Negroponte to compare those names with people mentioned in the intercepts.
"He has assured me that none of them are among the names requested by Undersecretary Bolton," Roberts said.
"This compromise represents the middle ground and should more than satisfy the concerns of my colleagues, unless, of course, they are not interested in being satisfied," Roberts said.