July 16th, 2009
01:11 PM ET
12 years ago

Republican takes on Obama's 'czars'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/16/art.bowalk0716.gi.jpg caption="Some Republicans in the House wants to defund President Obama's 'czars.'"]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A Republican on the House Appropriations Committee is attempting to pull the financial plug on the Obama administration's many "czars."

Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia introduced legislation Wednesday that prohibits use of government funds to pay the salaries or expenses of individuals in the new administration that have been appointed by President Obama without the advice and consent of the Senate. The financial prohibition in the "Czar Accountability and Reform Act (CZAR) of 2009" extends to the staffs of the administration's "czars."

The president has named aides or so-called "czars" with responsibility for a number of areas including energy/climate change, health care reform, enforcement of federal drug laws, and the automotive industry.

Read: Kingston's legislation

The White House declined to comment on Kingston's legislation.

Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution provides that:

[the president] shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.

"Why won't the President use transparency and have these people come before the Senate and undergo the constitutionally-mandated process?," Kingston asked in a release announcing his amendment to an appropriations bill.

"It seems President Obama is in the midst of forming a parallel government to push his policies," Kingston also said Wednesday. The Georgia Republican added that the positions occupied by Obama's so-called "czars" "duplicate existing Senate-confirmed positions."

Seventeen other House Republicans have joined Kingston in sponsoring the anti-czar bill.

In February, Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia criticized the new administration's use of "czars" to oversee policy in several areas.

"As presidential assistants and advisers, these White House staffers are not accountable for their actions to the Congress, to cabinet officials, and to virtually anyone but the president," Byrd wrote in a letter to Obama. "In too many instances, White House staff have been allowed to inhibit openness and transparency, and reduce accountability."

Filed under: Obama administration
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Fla.

    These Republicans unfortunately exasperate GOP hypocrisy again. Where were these criticisms when President Bush was appointing czars?

    July 16, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. ella

    What good has the Republican party done for our country in the past 8-1/2 years?


    July 16, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Roger

    Yea lets listen to the Republicans. They are the ones the got us in this mess!!!!!!

    July 16, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. gl, From Pittsburgh

    "Why won't the President use transparency and have these people come before the Senate and undergo the constitutionally-mandated process?," Kingston asked in a release announcing his amendment to an appropriations bill.

    What is wrong with the Repulicans party they just want to hold up any process coming for this White House. We don't have time for the Republicans to continue to box progress with their waste for hearing like with Sonia SotoMayor.

    This is why this country is in the mess we are in becasue the Republicans REFUSE TO WORK WITH THIS PRSIDENT AND CONTINUE TO BE OBSTRUCTED.


    July 16, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  5. Tim

    In addition to the 32 Czar's Obama has named, many of his communist type policies also are very similar to those of Russia.

    July 16, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. chelle

    No seriously?? This is how government operates in the US? Lord help you. So everyone to be hired by a President must be "vetted" by the Senate? That's an efficient use of some high priced help, especially when you factor in the politics of it – no one cares if the person is qualified for the job, only that they be as obstructionist as possible. Look at the Supreme Court – does the nominee meet a standard of judicial experience?? That should be the only thing necessary. Can you imagine if every position required this? It would be INSANE!

    July 16, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. Susie

    Where you gonna Take Them when you can't even find them????

    July 16, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Senate and undergo the constitutionally-mandated process?,"

    YEA, We seen it this week with Sonia SotoMayor constitutionally-mandated proces with was nothing but a waste of time and a way to stall all of the President appointee. Republicans you are the problem and we American voted against your party of OBSTRUCTED!


    July 16, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. annie s

    Incredible. Was Rep. Kingston upset when George Bush appointed Sam Fox as ambassador to Belgium, Susan Dudley to be head of the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and Andrew Biggs to be deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration – all while Congress was in recess and therefore without their approval?

    July 16, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. renea

    Nothing surprises me anymore about the republicans voting against everything President Obama does. Even the confirmation of Judge Sotomayor they would vote against her being confirmed but they are not going to because that will ruin their chance with the latino votes in 2010 and 2012 you tell me its not about politics.

    July 16, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. Joe, Georgia

    I love living in the State of Georgia, but I am continually amazed at how many incompetent and embarrassing individuals we send to Congress from this State. We are in the midst of an economic crisis and these guys sit in Washington and play petty political games.

    July 16, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. Minuteman

    Obama has clearly SHREDED the Constituion time after time after time!

    July 16, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. Melaney Tidwell

    We have figured out that Obama intends to change the US Constitution to suit his own ambitions. To heck with the way it is now written - passe, not 21st Century lawyer-speak.

    July 16, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. Naldo

    Czars do not make law. Bush had czars, too - GOP had no issue with them, so what's the issue now? OH, totally partisan beefs.

    July 16, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Anny

    republicans you just keep digging your grave a little deeper with each passing day.........everytime you open your mouths it's about putting this Presdent down and everything he is trying to do.......if we ever turned on the tv or read anything other than your constant complaining and negativity about this administration it would shock the pants off of this country......

    July 16, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. Erick

    GOP better leave our President Obama alone. He's our hopeful. We need help to success our america into a good shape. That is all matter.

    July 16, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  17. jeff jackson, alabama

    Hum.....just recently democrats AND the media were talking about
    Bush thinking he didin't need to check with anyone concerning his
    I guess it just matters what party is in power that determines
    if someone is a dictator or a good president.
    But you have to admit Obama promised change and he
    delivered. The names of the presidents did indeed change.

    July 16, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. Isaac

    You think with all the czars he could find one that could actually help with the economy. I guess they all just work on his inspirational speeches flowered with sentiment and eloquence that require no real acts of leadership. He has defined his social vision that requies run away deficits and paying off unions but none that are abating plunging unemployment that is now 9.5%. Change the liberals love.....

    July 16, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. chris

    There's BIGGER things to worry about GOP Senator...

    July 16, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  20. GI Joe

    I say get rid of the name Czar AND get rid of the KKK-worshipping southern senators.

    July 16, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. Valerie in North Carolina

    With each new revalation of the actions of the Republican party, I am reminded why this senior citizen is now an Independent.

    July 16, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  22. GI Joe

    "Why won't the President use transparency and have these people come before the Senate and undergo the constitutionally-mandated process?," Kingston asked in a release announcing his amendment to an appropriations bill.
    Kinda like Cheney taking the role of President without nomination or voting for him to take that position?

    July 16, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  23. RAL

    With all these Szars seems we are in another country.
    While OB flys around the country hyping his Hope & Change crap
    I hope ay Change occurs in 2010 & 12 firt al incumbant libs in th ehouse & senate then the big guy himself out of office .
    what a worthless term this is of any president any time even Jimmy Carter didn't do this much damage in 4 years!
    Wake up People1

    July 16, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. Barbara CA

    Republican presidents have also had 'czars' (including president Bush's domestic policy czar, Carl Rove). I never heard Mr. Kingston complaining about the cost of any of the republican czars.

    July 16, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. Travis

    Em, parallel Government, where have I seen this before. Huge conflict in Europe for 500 Alex. It's pronounced gestapo in German.

    July 16, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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