Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and Senator Joseph Biden released the following statement today in response to objections raised by Republicans over debate of the confirmation of Condoleezza Rice:
“During yesterday¹s inauguration, President Bush took an oath to uphold the Constitution, and in his remarks, he took time to praise the �’durable wisdom¹ it contains.
“That same Constitution lays forth the separation of powers within our government and the duties of each office. For those of us in the Senate, it is our Constitutional responsibility to �’advise and consent.¹ This is an obligation that we are sworn to meet, and it is an obligation we owe the American public. And it is with this duty in mind that Senate Democrats have asked for a few more hours of debate before voting on the confirmation of Condoleezza Rice.
“Ms. Rice has played a central role in developing this administration¹s policies in Iraq and in the war on terror. Given her role in these issues and the office to which she has been nominated, it is not unreasonable for the Senate to take the time needed to carefully examine her record. In fact, it is our constitutional duty.
“Ms. Rice¹s confirmation will be voted on in a timely manner, and I expect she will be confirmed. But to suggest that the Senate should not have any debate about Ms. Rice¹s performance and the future direction of American foreign policy shows not only a high level of arrogance on behalf of some Republicans, but also a blatant disregard for our constitutional responsibilities.”