WASHINGTON Democrats forced the Senate to put off a final vote today on John R. Bolton s nomination to be U.N. ambassador, the latest setback for the tough-talking nominee President Bush has called strong medicine for corruption and inefficiency at the United Nations.
Democrats contended the White House had stiff-armed the Senate over classified information on Bolton s tenure in his current job as the State Department s arms control chief, and demanded more information before the Senate can give Bolton an up-or-down vote.
Republicans needed 60 votes to end the Democrats procedural delays and move to an immediate final vote on Bolton s confirmation. But the vote to halt the stalling was 56-42, four shy of that threshold.
The final Bolton vote will probably not take place until early June, after the Senate returns from a Memorial Day recess.
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