Senate shoots down measure to defund czars

Michael Mayday Contributor
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The Senate has voted 47-51 against an amendment to eliminate the White House’s ability to appoint and fund policy czars. Republican Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Dean Heller of Nevada and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, introduced the amendment yesterday.

The amendment would have expanded the the definition of czar to 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.” (Rep. McCarthy introduces national texting while driving ban)

It also would have required the appointment of any czar to pass Senate approval. The National Security Advisor would have been excluded from this definition.

“We should also ensure that the Senate’s role is not eroded by unconfirmed federal czars in very significant positions which should be subject to advice and consent,” Vitter said on the Senate floor. “It’s aimed squarely at positions created to circumvent the advice and the role of the United States Senate.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer, New York Democrat, called the amendment a “poison pill” claiming it would hinder the President’s ability to appoint staff.

Vitter defended the amendment, saying it would’ve defunded any czar position in any administration.