Republican senators seek to cut funding to czars

Michael Mayday Contributor
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Four Republican senators seek to cut off money to czars in the Obama administration and force current and future czars to undergo Senate confirmations.

The senators, David Vitter of Louisiana, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Dean Heller of Nevada and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, have introduced the amendment in the Nominations Process Reform Bill.

Heller said the amendment, which defines czar as the “head of any task force, council, policy office or similar office established by the president that has not been confirmed by the U.S. Senate,” excluding the National Security Advisor, could return some accountability to the current administration’s nomination process.

“The nomination process was put in place so individuals seeking high-level positions in government are held accountable,” Heller said. “Czars are given a great amount of authority and control within the federal government without being nominated or vetted. The American public deserves to know who the President is appointing within his administration.”

In a statement, Vitter said he was “very concerned about that undefined authority of what are essentially political advisory positions, especially when the decisions they make can have profound effect on our lives.”

The amendment mirrors recent legislation by Lousiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, who introduced efforts targeting the post of “climate czar” in 2011 by halting the position’s funding.

Michael Mayday