An effort to force a no-confidence vote on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales failed in the Senate.
Republicans were able to get enough votes to block the move, calling it a political stunt, but even in defeat there was a troubling political warning for President Bush.
Seven Republican Senators agreed breaking ranks with the White House. Most Republicans have deep reservations about Gonzales’ ability to lead the Justice Department.
The vote stems from the fired federal prosecutors controversy and Gonzales trouble answering Congress’s questions about it.