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Senate committee vote on Ashcroft expected to be delayed

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Senate Judiciary Committee will likely postpone its vote on Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft for at least a week because Democrats are still seeking speeches, other documents and written answers from the former senator.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermontt, the committee's top Democrat, called Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Tuesday afternoon and told him Democrats will object to taking the vote Wednesday morning as previously scheduled.

A top aide to Leahy said the Democrats on the committee decided not to let the vote go forward because they have not received answers to follow up qusetions they sent to Ashcroft following last week's hearings.

The aide said they also have not received many of the speeches and other documents they requested.

The committee will meet in executive session Wednesday, but under itsr rules, the vote on Ashcroft will likely be postponed until January 31.

Republicans have cried foul that Democrats sought to delay the vote by sending the nominee more than 300 questions, a number they claim is unprecedented for any attorney general-designate.

Most Democrats on the committee have not publicly disclosed how they intend to vote, but Ashcroft is expected to be confirmed.


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Tuesday, January 23, 2001

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