Reining in the czars – Now the constitution matters? Where have you been?

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 02-11-2009

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In an op-ed in the Washington Times, Senator Susan Collins calls into question the constitutionality of the czars. While I completely agree, I’d ask the senator where she has been all this time?

When it comes to accountability and transparency, who is actually in charge and making the policy decisions? Is it the secretary, whom the Senate confirmed, or is it the czar, whom the president unilaterally appointed? These czars operate outside the established structure of checks and balances.

As ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I also am concerned about the management dysfunction that so many czars create. They duplicate or dilute the statutory authority and responsibilities Congress has conferred on Cabinet officers and other senior officials.

Unfortunately, because czars can circumvent the constitutionally mandated process of “advice and consent” and because the president’s advisers have informed me that no White House czars will be allowed to testify before Congress, we cannot ask them for the answers.

Czars bypass the constitutional oversight authority of Congress, tipping the balance of power in favor of the executive branch.

via Reining in the czars – Washington Times.

The czars without a doubt undermine the constitution. If I was President and wanted to become a tyrant, one of the things I would do is put my select people in places and positions where they could seize control at the right time. While I am not saying this is Obama’s intent, although everyday I wonder, once the precedent is set,  it allows future Presidents to do the same thing. If one of those Presidents has the intention of becoming a tyrant, he’ll have precedent on his side.

While I agree with Collins on this issue, I would hope she’d be consistent in her concern for the constitution. The congress violates the constitution with almost every bill they write. Will we see an op-ed about the constitutionality of health care reform, cash for clunkers, bailouts, etc?

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