My Senators are Republicans ... but also Mainers
That cussed Yankee independence is one of the things I like best about this place. Both Senators have taken some grief from anti-war purists who expect them to consistently vote against their own partyline. But they've shown a willingness and an ability to speak their minds and to buck the system plenty of times. Yesterday was a particularly good example.
"In our system, a no-confidence motion is a meaningless political gesture. Nevertheless, the fact is that I have lost confidence in the ability of Attorney General Gonzales to lead the Department of Justice effectively.
Every week brings yet another revelation of serious errors in judgment by the nation's highest law enforcement official. It is up to the President to decide the Attorney General's future, but I think his continued tenure does not benefit the Department or our country."
-- Susan Collins, R-Maine
“Today’s vote related to a non-binding resolution that would not have the force of law, and yet I voted to continue debate on the resolution because of my deep concerns regarding the conduct of the nation’s chief law enforcement officer. Although it is true that Mr. Gonzales serves at the pleasure of the White House, this vote sends a clear message the President must recognize that the cumulative and troubling pattern of developments that have been disclosed over the past several months have undermined confidence in the Attorney General in his ability to serve. I believe the President needs to give the facts we have heard recently very serious consideration.
Quite frankly, I have found the circumstances surrounding the firing of eight U.S. attorneys and the lack of the Attorney General’s apparent oversight in that matter to be a part of that troubling pattern. In addition, the more recent allegation about a late-night visit to the hospital room of an ailing John Ashcroft, revealed a lack of judiciousness and is truly bizarre. As a member of the Intelligence Committee who has had fundamental concerns about how this government conducted the wiretapping surveillance program, the allegation, if true, is contrary to the high conduct that we expect from someone serving in this vital position in our government.
Therefore, I voted for cloture because, in fact, I have no confidence in this Attorney General. This resolution—which is the first in history for the U.S. Senate—is a proper forum to express my belief the President needs to give these recent facts very serious consideration.”
-- Olympia Snowe, R-Maine