Senate Democrats will fight to squeeze in a nearly-unprecedented no-confidence vote against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales before Congress gets the hell out of Dodge for the one-week Memorial Day recess, Roll Call reports
(sub. required)... but they might not make it.
The Senateâs agenda is packed this week with Iraq and immigration bills heading to the floor, but Republican maneuvering could prove to be the bigger setback:
The problem is Democrats are unlikely to get cooperation on the resolution from Republicans, who could throw numerous procedural hurdles in their way as the Senate tries to leave town Friday. So if Democrats want to pursue the nonbinding resolution, they will have to begin the lengthy process of filing cloture resolutions as early as possible for a final vote to occur by the end of this week.
It doesnât look like Senate Democrats are prepared to take those first steps today, though they insisted they could pursue a vote later in the week.
The resolution has at least some Republican support, including Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and six others. Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConell (R-KY) opposes it.
Though the resolution is ânon-binding,â it is still a very unusual move for the Senate meant to send a strong political message to the White House.
Senate Associate Historian Don Ritchie said he could not recall another no-confidence vote on a Cabinet member in the Senateâs history.
But there have been other comparable votes censuring or condemning presidents, Senators and Cabinet members. In 1886, for instance, the Senate voted to censure President Grover Clevelandâs attorney general, A.H. Garland, because he did not provide documents about the firing of a federal prosecutor.