Democrats Monday aim to stick the knife into President George W. Bush's besieged Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, with a rare Senate "no confidence" vote sparked by a row over fired federal prosecutors.
The debate is the culmination of an intense Democratic campaign for the scalp of Gonzales, one of Bush's closest political allies, who has also faced calls to resign from some senior Republicans.
Bush Monday vigorously defended Gonzales, following up White House accusations that the symbolic and non-binding Senate vote is simply political mischief drummed up by Democrats to appease grass roots supporters.
"They can try to have their votes of no confidence, but it's not going to determine who serves in my government," Bush told reporters in Bulgaria before flying back to Washington after a tour of Europe.
An afternoon of debate was scheduled on a simple resolution stating that Gonzales "no longer holds the confidence of the Senate and of the American people."