Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Jack Kingston Proposes Czar Reform: Unconstitutional Congress Defeats Heroic Act

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA-1st) introduced an amendment to withhold funding for Obama-appointed Czar salaries until and unless the Czar has been confirmed by Congress - which is the only Constitutional option for appointing a "Czar."

Rep. Jack Kingston
You can find the text of the amendment here in a pdf (scroll down to "Czars a plenty." The amendment was defeated. Tell me how Congress can do this. This is an abrogation of congressional duty and obligation, and I'm not using the word "abrogation" lightly. "Abrogation" means to "abolish by formal or official means." To "annul by an authoritative act." Congress is willing to let Czars make decisions that they are officially responsible for:
In a letter to Obama on Wednesday, [Senator] Byrd, a Democrat, said that the czar system "can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances," Politico reported. Byrd added that oversight of federal agencies is the responsibility of officials approved by the Senate. As presidential assistants and advisers, these White House staffers are not accountable for their actions to the Congress, to cabinet officials, or to virtually anyone but the president," Byrd wrote. "They rarely testify before congressional committees, and often shield the information and decision-making process behind the assertion of executive privilege. In too many instances, White House staff have been allowed to inhibit openness and transparency, and reduce accountability.
Kingston asks:
Why should the American people trust these folks be given so much power to affect important policy areas without having to go through the same review we require of hundreds of Administration officials with much less power?
I'd like to know how much these 33 Czars are being paid to do the work that Congress is already being paid to do. Thank you Rep. Kingston. You are a hero in my opinion.

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