No More Czars.


A group of House Republicans wants to put an end to the tyrannical czars who rule from the White House with an iron, un-Senate-confirmed fist:

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and 28 other House Republicans introduced legislation to do away with the informal, paid advisers President Obama has employed over the past two years. 

The legislation, which was introduced in the last Congress but was not allowed to advance under Democratic control, would do away with the 39 czars Obama has employed during his administration. [...]

Republicans had complained about the president's use of czars to help advance his agenda in Congress. In particular, the GOP had harped about the personal history of Van Jones, the president's czar for "green jobs," over past comments Jones had made about Fox News came to light. Jones eventually resigned.

For what it's worth, I would happily vote to eliminate czars if the bill came with a measure to vastly reduce the number of Senate-confirmable positions in the executive branch, and require an "up or down vote" for each executive branch nominee. After all, czars exist because the confirmation process is time-heavy, intrusive, and prone to abuse. If Republicans really want to eliminate unconfirmed advisers in the White House, they should be prepared to relinquish some power over how the president staffs his administration.

-- Jamelle Bouie

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