by Tom Fitton
Would it surprise you to learn that Obama believes it is his “prerogative” to ignore the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law when it comes to appointing czars? That’s essentially what he said recently.
Here’s the scoop according to Politico:
President Barack Obama is planning to ignore language in the 2011 spending package that would ban several top White House advisory posts.
House Republicans tacked on language to the contentious spending bill to cut the salaries for four so-called czars — policy advisers appointed to assist the president on health care, climate change, autos and manufacturing, and urban affairs.
But in a signing statement issued Friday, Obama said he’s not obligated to comply.
“The president also has the prerogative to obtain advice that will assist him in carrying out his constitutional responsibilities, and do so not only from executive branch officials and employees outside the White House, but also from advisers within it,” the statement said.The president added that the ban on czars would undermine “the President’s ability to exercise his constitutional responsibilities and take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” (Did you catch that? Obama is telling us he must ignore the Constitution to protect the Constitution. Many Obama administration czars have not been subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate as required by the Constitution.)
Unfortunately for Republicans, the four czars they listed in the bill are no longer serving in their czar positions and will be unaffected by the legislation. (The Obama administration keeps shuffling the deck, moving people in and out of positions of power thereby making them difficult to track.) Still, the main point here is not the fates of these particular four czars, but rather the Obama administration’s willingness to thwart the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Constitution and install unelected, unconfirmed bureaucrats into positions of power with no oversight whatsoever!
The issue isn’t whether President Obama can appoint advisers whose sole responsibility it is to give him advice. It is about whether these czar advisers exercise improper authority over Senate-confirmed cabinet officials and other members of the administration, who are duly authorized under the Constitution to execute the laws passed by Congress.
And for the President to simply shrug his shoulders and say it’s his “prerogative” to do so is the height of arrogance! (Republicans are currently exploring several administrative options to enforce its ban. How effective they will be remains to be seen.)
So, once again Judicial Watch is going to do what neither the press nor congressional Republicans have been able to do – publish a comprehensive report documenting the Obama administration’s czars.
We are just now putting the finishing touches on this explosive new report. One of our main goals is to compile the most up-to-date list of Obama czars so far (which is tricky and ever-changing for reasons I’ve noted), while calling attention to numerous scandals involving former and current czars, as well as the constitutional issues concerned. We haven’t gone to press just yet, but here’s a quick sneak-peek squib from our intro:
This Judicial Watch Special Report analyzes the proliferation of so-called “czars” in the Obama administration. President Barack Obama has installed personal advisors in czar positions in the White House and has created new czar positions elsewhere in the Executive Branch…
Many of these “czars” are unconfirmed by the Senate and are largely unaccountable to Congress. Further, their activities are often outside of the reach of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), creating a veil of secrecy about their precise role in the administration. Considering President Obama’s efforts to skirt constitutionally mandated oversight of his administration, it is not surprising that there has been substantial outcry over his use of czars… The American people, to the extent they understand what is going on, see the appointment of czars as an effort by the President to circumvent Congress and the U.S. Constitution…the message to the President is clear: stop the use of czars to enforce your will on the American people.