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Chafee Still Leaning in Favor of Bolton (posted May 8, 2005)
U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee still is in favor of United Nations representative
nominee John Bolton. Interviewed on the WPRI-TV show Newsmakers, Chafee
indicated "I still am leaning in favor of voting for Bolton."
However, he said he wanted all the information on various allegations
before announcing his vote on the nomination. Chafee called the allegations
of ill-temper and intimidation "serious accusations", but
noted the UN representative job was not a life-time appointment such
as a federal judge that would require a higher threshold of acceptability.
The Senator said he was opposed to changing the filibuster rule in regard to
judgships. That rule currently allows unlimited debate and it has been used
by Democrats to block confirmation of several Bush nominations. Chafee said
the current environment was a "poisonous atmosphere" and ending the
rule would make things worse.
In regard to Social Security reform, Chafee said the president's proposed
private account "doesn't have a chance". Instead, the Senator
expressed support for "blended indexing" which would slow the
automatic adjustment due to inflation. That change, Chafee argued, would
accomplish "70 percent" of the reform desired by President Bush.
When asked about the possibility of a primary challenge by Cranston Mayor
Steven Laffey, Chafee said "I speak to the Mayor on occasion", but
expressed his hope that the GOP would avoid a primary fight. "There is a
lot of opportunity for us as Republicans to pick spots," he noted. In
2006, the GOP faces open seat elections for Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of
State, and General Treasurer.
On energy conservation, Chafee said he was doing his part. He now drives a
Toyota Prius, which he said gets 40 miles per gallon.