« | »

Democrats Kill Effort To Rein In Czars

From Fox News:

Senate Dems Kill Effort to Rein in Czars

By Trish Turner On September 24, 2009

A senior Democratic official tells Fox that Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-CT, as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, "recognized the implications and alerted the White House."

The aide pointed to language of the Collins amendment, that it applies to officials “without express statutory authorization and which is responsible for the interagency development or coordination of any rule, regulation, or policy….”

The aide continued:  "Neither the (White House) chief of staff nor the National Security advisor are authorized statutorily. Nor are dozens of other White House officials who coordinate policy. "

The aide contends, the amendment would have gone too far, encircling close advisers to the President.

Under pressure from the White House, arguing separation of powers, Senate Democrats on Thursday employed a procedural tactic to kill an amendment that would have imposed congressional oversight on some 18 czars appointed by the Obama Administration, though not confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

The amendment to a spending bill that funds the Interior Department was sponsored by moderate Maine Sen. Susan Collins, top Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, who took to the floor to decry the move, saying she was "deeply disappointed" that her colleagues would do this.

The measure would have withheld federal funds for the creation of any new, unconfirmed czar positions until the Administration agreed to allow the individuals to testify before Congress, if a "reasonable request" was made, and every czar to produce a detailed "public, written report" biannually of their actions and involvement in the creation of policy, rules, and regulations.

"My amendment has been carefully tailored to cover officials that the President has unilaterally designated for significant policy matters. It would not have covered the President’s chief of staff, for example, and it would not cover less senior White House officials, despite some misinformation to the contrary," Collins said, noting that her staff had worked with White House officials Wednesday night without agreement.

Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin, D-IL, a close ally of the White House, was not convinced, sensing a more politically-motivated attack, by "czar watchers," invoking "the political wiseman" Fox News’ Glenn Beck, as well as Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-TX, who Durbin said had found a larger number of czars than Collins, who detailed 18 unconfirmed czars for the record. Durbin noted that both Beck, who he jokingly called a "political adviser," and Hutchison had come up with the same number of czars, 32, which included positions that are confirmed by the Senate.

"Who’s going to define who is covered by your amendment?" Durbin implored. He also noted that the workload the Collins amendment would have imposed on the czars would be onerous…

Durbin would not bend, and instead offered, "The good news is this. Our trusted friend Joe Lieberman (chairman of the committee on which Collins serves)…has promised a hearing on this issue."

And with that, Durbin used a Senate rule that prohibits legislating on a spending bill, something that is often done by both parties despite the rule, to kill the measure.

Mind you, this was an amendment proffered by the ultra moderate (meaning Democrat in GOP clothing) Susan Collins.

And it is especially piquant that the administration would knock it down with the argument based on the ‘separation of powers,’ when the executive branch is creating a seemingly endless stream of powerful federally funded positions without legislative authority or oversight.

And with that, Durbin used a Senate rule that prohibits legislating on a spending bill, something that is often done by both parties despite the rule, to kill the measure.

What a joke.

History buffs will recall the that infamous Boland Amendment, which gave rise to the so-called Iran-Contra affair, was a bit of legislation tacked on to an appropriation bill.

To cite just one example of how the Democrats regularly bend the rules for their convenience.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, September 25th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Democrats Kill Effort To Rein In Czars”

  1. Tater Salad says:

    Democrats……….get your diggs in now because your time of being “unemployed” getting near. Trust us on this one.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Um, there are considerably more than 18 “czars” in this jerk’s cabinet:

    AIDS Czar: Jeffrey Crowley

    Auto recovery Czar: Ed Montgomery

    Border Czar: Alan Bersin

    California Water Czar: David J. Hayes

    Car Czar: Ron Bloom

    Central Region Czar: Dennis Ross

    Domestic Violence Czar: Lynn Rosenthal

    Drug Czar: Gil Kerlikowske

    Economic Czar: Paul Volcker

    Energy and Environment Czar: Carol Brower

    Faith-Based Czar: Joshua DuBois

    Great Lakes Czar: Cameron Davis

    Guantanamo Closure Czar: Daniel Fried

    Health Czar: Nancy-Ann DeParle

    Information Czar: Vivek Kundra

    International Climate Czar: Todd Stern

    Intelligence Czar: Dennis Blair

    Mideast Peace Czar: George Mitchell

    Pay Czar: Kenneth Feinberg

    Regulatory Czar: Cass Sunstein

    Science Czar: John Holdren

    Stimulus Accountability Czar: Earl Devaney

    Sudan Czar: J. Scott Gration

    TARP Czar: Herb Allison

    Terrorism Czar: John Brennan

    Technology Czar: Aneesh Chopra

    Urban Affairs Czar: Adolfo Carrion Jr.

    Weapons Czar: Ashton Carter

    WMD Policy Czar: Gary Samore

    I count 29. However, my math may be off because I’m not a democrat hack.


  3. proreason says:

    There are no czars.

    That word doesn’t appear in a single official job description.

    So this is just a sham by the Republicans to attempt to discredit the most transparent administration in history.

    The 30+ people reporting directly to the President and the thousands of people reporting to them are no different from the staff of prior Presidents.

    Oh yeh, maybe there are 20 or 200 times as many, and sure, no budget was ever approved to pay for them, and ok, there is no oversight over them by any branch of government, and yes if you want to nitpick there is no provision for an army of unaccountable bureaucrats in the Constitution, and well perhaps a few dozen hundred are radicals and convicted criminals and agents of foreign governments, but really….

    he won.

    So shutup.

  4. canary says:

    Thanks Rusty for the list. No background checks even. No wonder the Democrat leaders are always smiling and giggling like children.

  5. GTBurns says:

    What is next a Czar of Czars. Obama seems to be taking a page from the Mc hammer Career Playbook. Once you hit the big time give high paying do nothing jobs to all your closest friends and loser relatives.

    Same thing happens here in Detroit, with local politicians, the get elected and start hiring family members to get paid big money to do pretty much nothing. This is how Hammer went broke and Kwame ended up in jail.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »