To defend his March 8, 2000, filibuster of Judge Richard Paez, Majority Leader Bill Frist said that voting against cloture to get more information is OK and should be distinguished from an ordinary filibuster. Here’s Frist on the 11/14/04 Face the Nation:
Filibuster, cloture, it gets confusing — as a scheduling or to get more information is legitimate.
Yesterday, Frist described voting against cloture to get more information on ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton as “partisan sniping.” Frist took pains to emphasize that there was no difference between delaying a nomination to get more information and a filibuster:
It certainly sounds like a filibuster…. It quacks like a filibuster.
Of course, when Frist voted against cloture of Paez, the nomination had been pending for four years and he was looking to block the nomination, not get more information. In this case, the Bush administration is refusing to release critical documents regarding Bolton’s conduct in the State Department.