No-confidence vote against Gonzales blocked
Republicans in the Senate blocked a no-confidence vote against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Monday.

Republicans forced a cloture vote on the measure. It fell seven votes short of the 60 needed to clear the non-binding resolution [Roll Call].

Democrats introduced the one-word resolution last week. It read: "It is the sense of the Senate that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales no longer holds the confidence of the Senate and of the American people" [S.J.Res.14].

Regardless of the outcome, President Bush said he would stand by Gonzales, who has come under fire for his handling of the firings of several U.S. Attorneys. Three of them -- Mary Chiara from Western Michigan, Paul Charlton from Arizona and Dan Bogden -- spoke at the National Congress of American Indians midyear conference in Anchorage, Alaska, yesterday.

All three criticized Gonzales for his stance on Indian issues. Chiara, the former chair of the Native American Issues Subcommittee at the Department of Justice said "there is gross negligence on the part of the Attorney General when it comes to Indian tribes."

Charlton said the local U.S. Attorney's offices "understand the need, but the Attorney General does not care about crime on Indian reservations." Bogden said the lack of commitment reflected the "Washington-ization" of the federal prosecutors across the country.

"It is truly alarming that the highest law enforcement officer in the country seems to have a lack of focus when it comes to addressing the high rate of crime and lack of law enforcement on Indian lands," said NCAI President Joe A. Garcia.

Tom Heffelfinger, who chaired the NAIS prior to Chiara, was unable to attend NCAI as scheduled due to a client issue in Minnesota.

Get the Story:
Senators Block Vote on Gonzales (The Washington Post 6/12)
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In Senate Vote, G.O.P. Fights Off Gonzales Rebuke (The New York Times 6/12)
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