Obama Tells Congress, “Sorry, I’m Keeping The Czars”

The budget bill that passed Congress Thursday included a provision to defund a number of White House czars including the “Health Care Czar,” the “Climate Change Czar,” the “Car Czar,” and the “Urban Affairs Czar.”

Ed Morrissey noted, earlier this week:

This list includes three of the most offensive “czars” in the Romanov wing of the Obama administration.  Obama has an HHS Secretary in Kathleen Sebelius, so he doesn’t need a “czar” on health care.  Likewise, his Cabinet includes a Secretary of Energy (Stephen Chu) and Interior (Ken Salazar), so why does the administration need a “climate change czar”?  The government shouldn’t even be in the car business, so the car czar has to go.  And while the “Urban Affairs Czar” hasn’t gotten much press, shouldn’t Shaun Donovan’s role as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development cover, er, urban affairs?

This evening HuffPo reports that ‘Obama had a message for Congress Friday: his so-called “czars” aren’t going anywhere.’

…on Friday night, Obama declared that he intends to ignore that part of the budget legislation, issuing a relatively rare “signing statement” after he inked the budget deal in which he argued that the legislative effort to eliminate those positions was an unconstitutional infringement on the executive branch.

“The President has well-established authority to supervise and oversee the executive branch, and to obtain advice in furtherance of this supervisory authority,” Obama wrote in a message to Congress. “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.

“Legislative efforts that significantly impede the President’s ability to exercise his supervisory and coordinating authorities or to obtain the views of the appropriate senior advisers violate the separation of powers,” he added. “Therefore, the executive branch will construe [the law as to] not to abrogate these Presidential prerogatives.”

Republicans were not impressed.

“It’s not surprising that the White House, having bypassed Congress to empower these ‘Czars’ is objecting to eliminating them,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Not surprisingly, the comments at HuffPo run along the lines of: “Good for you Mr. President !”

Does “executive authority” allow you to flout a law you just signed?

MORE:

Obama issued two “signing statements”, Friday, the one on the czars and a statement strongly objecting to provisions in the legislation intended to bar the transfer of prisoners detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the U.S., but did not go so far as to outright disregard the provisions. Rather, Obama said he wouldn’t accept any expansion of those restrictions, and would seek the repeal of the ones included in the legislation.

This, of course, represents another egregious flip flop of something he hammered Bush on, and campaigned against.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: When Congress offers you a bill, do you promise not to use presidential signings to get your way?OBAMA: “Yes… This is part of the whole theory of George Bush that he can make laws as he is going along. i disagree with that. i taught the Constitution for 10 years. i believe in the Constitution and I will obey the Constitution of the United States. We are not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end run around Congress. All right?”

Hat tip Pundit League.

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10 Responses to “Obama Tells Congress, “Sorry, I’m Keeping The Czars””

  1. Angie Says:

    Does executive authority allow you to somehow pay for these “advisers” if Congress does not appropriate funds for their salaries? After all, not one penny can come from the public wallet without first being signed into law – a law originating in the House, of course.

  2. nicedeb Says:

    Boehner’s spokesman’s comment didn’t sound like it had any real teeth to it.

  3. Angie Says:

    No surprise there, really.

  4. wdednh Says:

    lets be real would you expect a different respond? How can you take his tools out and not be confronted, the fool is with out ………

  5. Bob Mack Says:

    Obama taught the Constitution? I was unaware that courses on the US Constitution were offered at the Alinsky Institute.

  6. Blackiswhite, Imperial Consigliere Says:

    Obama taught the Constitution? I was unaware that courses on the US Constitution were offered at the Alinsky Institute.

    Of course they do. How else do you think he found out that it was a flawed document with “negative liberties” that only says what government can’t do to you?

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Barack Hussein Cobamunist. Dictators lie constantly. Dictators deflect their failed policies and their citizen”s misery on others. Obama does both. He is a serial liar. He saves the best during speaches or a press conference. He blames everyone else for his God awful socialistic/communistic polices. He blames our former President after more than (2) years in office.

  8. Carlos Says:

    I’m not a lawyer, but as I understand it a president can have as many “czars”, advisors, etc., as he wants, without congressional approval, as long as they do not make or enforce laws or law-like rules.

    So, knock yourself out, Mr. President, hire all the czars you want. But as soon as they usurp the authority of Congress to make and/or approve all laws and law-like rules, they have to either be submitted to the Senate for approval or scrapped.

    And my guess is, with the stinking-to-high-heaven backgrounds most of them have (avowed communists, socialists or statists) most of them will not be approved.

    For someone who “taught the Constitution” for 10 years, ya shore don’t have a very good handle on its requirements, sir.

  9. Mr. Obama Let the Czars Go! « YOU DECIDE Says:

    [...] Obama Tells Congress, “Sorry, I’m Keeping The Czars” (nicedeb.wordpress.com) [...]

  10. Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup » Pirate's Cove Says:

    [...] Deb has has a great roundup on Obama keeping his czars. Plus this weeks New Tone [...]


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