Citizens have been asking for clarification about President Obama's huge team of "Czars" for some time. Many congressmen heard questions at town hall meetings, and had to admit, that they simply didn't know either! The flood of questions and concerns after the release of self-avowed communist Van Jones has finally caused at least 100 of our lawmakers to clear up the issue.
Several Congressmen held a press conference today to announce proposed bills that will curb the growing number of Czars and will call for vetting and confirmation. Marsha Blackburn (TN-R) and Jack Kingston (GA-R) have both introduced bills and have garnered near 100 co-sponsors for the proposed legislation. If these appointees are writing laws and policies, it is an unconstitutional act. Article 1, Section 8 clearly gives Congress the exclusive power to legislate. If they are not writing laws and policies, then they are being paid exorbitant salaries for doing nothing, some estimated to be $175K/year. This doesn’t even account for the costs of their office space, staff, supplies, utilities, etc. It was further pointed out today that Congress really doesn’t know exactly how many appointees there are, but they know that there are legitimate officers and elected officials who already have the responsibilities given to what Michelle Malkin refers to as a “shadow government.”
Congressman Blackburn introduced HR 185, a Sense of Congress Resolution that will call for full disclosure from our “transparent” president of all Czars, their responsibilities, and their vetting status.
"Where I have concerns is when a President shifts duties away from officials who are subject to Congressional oversight to those on his personal staff who are not. These aides wield extraordinary influence and the American people have a right to know who they are, why they are qualified for their jobs, what their conflicts of interest might be, and what their job descriptions are. The President has an obligation to disclose this information."
Congressman Kingston has proposed H.R. 3226, the Czar Accountability and Reform Act, which would withhold funding from any czar until they have been confirmed by the Senate. Czars who do not go through the vetting and confirmation process will be “sun-downed” out.
”Who are these people and why are they necessary? Why do we need an Energy Czar and a Secretary of Energy? Why do we need a TARP Czar and a Secretary of Treasury? Why was a 31 year old with no background in the auto industry and who drives a foreign car appointed as the Auto Recovery Czar? What qualifies a college professor to set executive salaries? We don’t know the answers to these questions because unlike cabinet secretaries, judges, and hundreds of other presidential appointments, these czars have bypassed Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution which mandates the advice and consent of the Senate when the President appoints principle officers.”
The following is a list of those appointees who fall into the “Czar” category, some confirmed and some not:
1. TARP Czar: Herb Allison
2. Cyber Czar: Rod Beckstrom
3. Border Czar: Alan Bersin
4. Intelligence Czar: Dennis Blair
5. Terrorism Czar: John Brennan
6. Energy Czar Carol Browner
7. Urban Affairs Czar: Adolfo Carrion, Jr.
8. Weapons Czar: Ashton Carter
9. Technology Czar: Aneesh Chopra
10. AIDS Czar: Jeffrey Crowley
11. Great Lakes Czar: Cameron Davis
12. Health Czar: Nancy-Ann DeParle
13. Stimulus Accountability Czar: Earl Devaney
14. Faith-based Czar: Joshua DuBois
15. Pay Czar: Kenneth Feinberg
16. Guantanamo Closure Czar: Danny Fried
17. Sudan Czar: J. Scott Gration
18. Afghanistan Czar: Richard Holbrooke
19. Science Czar: John Holdren
20. Green Jobs Czar: Van Jones (resigned Sept. 6, 2009)
21. Bank Bailout Czar: Neel Kashkari
22. Drug Czar: Gil Kerlikowske
23. Performance Czar: Nancy Killefer
24. Information Czar: Vivek Kundra
25. Mideast Peace Czar: George Mitchell
26. Car Czar: Ed Montgomery
27. Domestic Violence Czar: Lynn Rosenthal
28. Mideast Policy (Iran) Czar: Dennis Ross
29. Weapons of Mass Destruction Czar: Gary Samore
30. Weatherization Czar: Gil Sperling
31. Climate Czar: Todd Stern
32. Regulatory Czar: Cass Sunstein
33. Economic Czar: Paul Volcker