June 11th, 2007
06:32 PM ET
10 years ago

GOP blocks Senate no-confidence vote on Gonzales

Senate Republicans blocked a resolution of no confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on a procedural vote Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senate Republicans blocked a resolution of no confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on a procedural vote Monday, mustering enough votes to keep the measure off the chamber's floor.

Gonzales has been under fire for months over the 2006 firings of U.S. attorneys in at least eight cities, and several Republican senators have called for him to resign. Seven Republicans joined Democrats in voting to bring the no-confidence resolution to the floor, but the 53-38 vote was short of the three-fifths vote needed.

Senate GOP leaders argued that the Democratic-backed resolution was a waste of time, since Gonzales serves at the pleasure of President Bush. The president restated his support for his longtime friend and aide Monday and dismissed any Senate vote as "meaningless."

Affirming confidence in Cabinet secretaries "is not our job," said Sen. Trent Lott, the Republican whip.

"We don't have authority to make that determination," Lott said. "So what are we going to accomplish today? This is all about partisan politics. No one is fooled by this."

But the measure's principal sponsor, New York Democrat Charles Schumer, noted that none of the GOP leadership voiced support for the attorney general Monday afternoon.

"To vote no when one in fact agrees with the sentiment in the resolution is to cast a vote for the worst political reasons," he said.

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soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Kirsten, Fredericksburg, Virginia

    The GOP is exactly right. How bout the Democrats instead start doing something about gas prices, instead of worrying about someone lying over a non-issue. The president is allowed to fire and hire attorneys aat his will, no one else's. The Democrats started something that was a nonstory, and have now successfully wasted the American peoples time over a pathetic spat. The politicians in Wash. need to grow up, and instead of going after their country's leader(whether they like it or not), they should be voting on things they promised they would do if they were elected.

    June 11, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  2. Rocco, Wellington, FL

    The basic problem in the country is politics as usual. Everyone knows Gonzales should be removed from the AG position in our government but by Bush's stubornness and congress notion that party lines rule wether good for the country or not Gonzales is still heading up the justise department. I've come to expect this from the Bush Administration.

    June 11, 2007 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  3. Jon, Washington, DC

    "Affirming confidence in Cabinet secretaries 'is not our job,' said Sen. Trent Lott, the Republican whip. 'We don’t have authority to make that determination,' Lott said."

    But Senator Lott, doesn't the senate have the authority – the duty – to determine confidance in a president's nominee to a cabinet post? Isn't that why presidential nominations are subject to Senate confirmation?

    It sounds like Senator Lott is saying that the entire confirmation process is unnecessary. Or, once senators confirm a nominee, they can – nay, must! – look the other way if his performance is disappointing.

    June 11, 2007 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  4. Mark, Omaha, NE

    Excuse me, Senator Lott, how many resolutions does the Senate pass every year naming a post office, creating collectable coins, and congratulating teams that win national championships? Almost all of these are a "waste" of time that you don't have real authority to make a determination.

    Let us not forget the countless times in the past few years when Republicans held Congress and brought vote after vote offering Congressional support for the troops and war in order to try to make Democrats look soft of terror. It wasn't right for Congress to continue to support the war back then in false political games, and yet you yourself lead that charge.

    If you were able to vote for or against any of the previous resolutions, then you are able to vote on this. By impeding this vote and American Democracy you are showing support for the AG, and should have no problem issuing a press release stating such support.

    June 12, 2007 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  5. Mark, Omaha, NE

    Why was my comment not posted when I submitted this last night?

    I ask Senator Lott why he doesn't allow this vote when he does allow the Senate to vote on naming post offices, producing collectable coins, and commerating various sport teams that win national championships?

    All of these "waste" time, and none are things that Congress has authority to do.

    Let us not forget the many votes that the Republican Congress forced in the past few years about "supporting the troops" and "continuing the war" while they were in the majority, with the purpose of a political game to "show" that Democrats were supposed to be soft on terror. This specifically happened when Murtha called to end the war. Lott led the charge.

    If he could vote in anything above he can vote in this resolution yes/no. By his behavior Lott supports this AG, and he really should have a press conference to let his voters know why he continues to support this AG.

    June 12, 2007 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  6. Jason, NYC, NY

    Something is wrong with the 'Comment Counter'. It shows that this posting has 0 comments, yet this comment will be at least the 3rd comment on this topic.

    The MSM has a problem. They do not help the average American with a 5 day memory. I remember Lott's hypocricy, and Mark remembers, but the average American does not. A story about Lott should remind everyone about Lott's past positions pro and con and why he has changed them in the past. The internet does not have a space constraint like a newspaper or a newscast and you can include relevant information that previously was not included.

    Americans must turn to The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Wikipedia, and now blogs to get the whole truth. DS and CR will play clips of hypocritic politicians and remind us of what they used to run for office, vs. their current line of thought. Keep America informed CNN! Bring the whole story.

    June 12, 2007 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  7. Eli, Austin, TX

    I think it's a stong message when you're only a few votes away from achieving the goal in bringing the no-confidence resolution to the floor.

    The Administration's comments in support of Gonzales say he's "loyal, supportive, and effective" at his job and will continue to remain in his role.

    These "sentiments" are a far cry from the criteria and values such as: credible, honest, trustworthy, genuine, intelligent, and integrity – all of which should be the foundation of any high level US Gov't official. It's obvious that these words are not in Gonzales's personal dictionary.

    I'm so tired of this Administration's countless cover ups, misleading the public, and it's inability to take ownership and responsibility for their mistakes. A sustaining sub 30% popularity vote really says it all, although I wouldn't be surprised if the GOP finds a way to integrate Albania voters into this poll to help skew the data in their favor.

    June 12, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  8. Andy, Columbus

    I t is no time to keep this indolent man in Justice Department. He must go to Texas faster than better.Out!!

    June 12, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |