On top of confirmation fights waged by liberal Democrats, President Bush now faces trouble from a potential conservative Republican presidential candidate.
Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas has quietly put a hold on Bush's nomination of Julie Finley to be U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) because of her fervent support for abortion rights. Finley has been a major contributor to Bush and is a longtime Republican leader in the District of Columbia.
The White House contends that Finley's proposed diplomatic post has nothing to do with abortion. Brownback argues that the OSCE, a European multilateral organization, often gets into women's issues, including abortion, and that the U.S. representative there often pulls the organization away from radical initiatives. It is supposed to police human rights standards established by the 1975 Helsinki Accords.