A deal that averted a showdown over President Bush's federal judge nominees also could set the stage for compromise on other tough issues — if it doesn't fall apart first.
On the day after seven Republicans and seven Democrats broke a deadlock over Bush's controversial court nominees, senators from both parties were trying to sort out the implications of the unusual deal. It was brokered with no involvement of the White House and only minimal consultation with the two parties' Senate leaders.
Reactions ranged from outrage, particularly from Republicans like Sen. George Allen, R-Va., who had hoped the showdown would clear a path for conservative nominees for the Supreme Court, to predictions of a new age of bipartisanship, tells USA Today.
Manuel Miranda, director of the National Coalition to End Judicial Filibusters and former &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2001/11/27/22054_.html ' target=_blank>Senate Judiciary Committee staffer, said Mr. Bush did not work hard enough to get votes for all his nominees, and didn't keep Republicans in line and defeat the minority Democrats.
"This is a loss for the White House bigger than any loss on Social Security," Mr. Miranda said. "[The White House] did not weigh in and every president in the future has been damaged.
"These were the president's nominees and the presidency's prerogative," he said. "The White House needed to invest action, not just words."
White House spokesman &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/printed.html?news_id=15298 ' target=_blank>Scott McClellan conceded that the president didn't get all that he wanted -- and he will continue to push for the full Senate to vote on all his judicial nominees -- but that Mr. Bush is generally pleased with the development.
"These are nominees that have waited for a number of years to receive an up-or-down vote, and now they're going to get one," Mr. McClellan said. "We consider that to be real progress, and so we're pleased that the Senate is moving forward on these judicial nominees."