Obama protects defunded ‘czars’

Wow: Obama issues “signing statement” rejecting budget cuts to White House “czars”


You didn’t seriously think he was going to abide by the will of Congress, did you? Such is The One’s personal awesomeness that he can order the bombing of Libya without so much as a heads up to the legislature in advance. Surely he wasn’t about to be tripped up by a duly enacted bill that dares to cut off the money he uses for his auxiliary cabinet.

I have to say, of all the Bush policies recycled by Obama, this one’s my favorite just because it’s such a gratuitous offense to his base. You can spin many of the others on expediency grounds — he had to ramp up the drone strikes in Pakistan to crack down on terrorists, he had to keep Gitmo military tribunals going because the Republicans tied his hands — but this one’s pretty much a pure no-apologies betrayal. The bad news: Legally, it’s highly dubious. The good news: It should provoke another classic what-happened-to-the-Barack-I-knew Andrew Sullivan lament…

…Remember, one of the big advantages of using “czars” is that they perform cabinet-type functions without being subjected to cabinet-type confirmation hearings. Which means, in this case, not only is he reserving his right to skirt congressional scrutiny of important appointees, he’s reserving his right to force Congress to pay for it by ignoring their own funding strictures. He’s been using signing statements for a long time now, but I’m not sure there’s ever been an example this egregious…

Read the complete article at HotAir.com where Allahpundit has included a video of Obama on the campaign trail, May 2008, talking about…Presidential Signing Statements.

At The Hill Michael O’Brien explains, “…Obama took the key step of issuing a signing statement, a declaration of constitutional interpretation by a president of legislation he or she might sign into law. It essentially notified lawmakers that he would not abide by the section of the law defunding the establishment of so-called ‘czars’…”

Ann Althouse comments.

Update: This evening on Twitter, CBS radio correspondent Mark Knoller reported:

Pres Obama said that anti-“czar” provision violates the separation of powers and will be deemed “not to abrogate” presidential prerogatives.

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