Mr. Bush made the announcement less than 72 hours after the Senate left on its month-long recess. By appointing the ambassador without Senate approval, the president’s move will install the outspoken Bolton at the U.N. only through the end of the 109th Congress, or January 2007.
The president, saying he had nominated Bolton some 5 months ago, blamed the lack of Senate confirmation on the “partisan delaying tactics by a handful of senators”.
“America has now gone more than six months without a permanent ambassador to the United Nations,” Mr. Bush said. “This post is too important to leave vacant any longer, especially during a war and a vital debate about U.N. reform.”
Bolton said he was ready to take the Bush administration’s message of restructuring to the United Nations, saying it would allow the global organization to better meet its founding goals of promoting international peace and security.
“You have made your directions for U.S. policy at the United Nations clear, and I am prepared to work tirelessly to carry out the agenda and initiatives that you and Secretary Rice direct,” the ambassador said in brief remarks. “We seek a stronger, more effective organization, true to the ideals of its founders and agile enough to act in the 21st century.”
The move angered Democrats, who had expressed concern over Bolton’s tenor and his possibly misleading statements about testimony concerning pre-Iraq war intelligence efforts.
Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy said the decision bordered an abuse of power.
“It’s a devious maneuver that evades the constitutional requirement of Senate consent and only further darkens the cloud over Mr. Bolton’s credibility at the U.N.,” he said Monday.
Democrats had delayed a vote on Bolton twice before, saying they needed more information and documents from the White House before they could decide on the nomination.