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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Byrd: Obama in power grab

This is getting good. . .

from Politico h/t Dr Bulldog

Byrd: Obama in power grab

2/25/09 11:24 AM EST

Byrd is a stern constitutional scholar who has always stood up for the legislative branch in its role in checking the power of the White House.

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), the longest serving Democratic senator, is criticizing President Obama’s appointment of White House “czars” to oversee federal policy, saying these executive positions amount to a power grab by the executive branch.

In a letter to Obama on Wednesday, Byrd complained about Obama’s decision to create White House offices on health reform, urban affairs policy, and energy and climate change. Byrd said such positions “can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances. At the worst, White House staff have taken direction and control of programmatic areas that are the statutory responsibility of Senate-confirmed officials.”

While it's rare for Byrd to criticize a president in his own party, Byrd is a stern constitutional scholar who has always stood up for the legislative branch in its role in checking the power of the White House. Byrd no longer holds the powerful Appropriations chairmanship, so his criticism does not carry as much weight these days. Byrd repeatedly clashed with the Bush administration over executive power, and it appears that he's not limiting his criticism to Republican administrations/.

Byrd also wants Obama to limit claims of executive privilege while also ensuring that thes White House czars don’t have authority over Cabinet officers confirmed by the Senate.

“As presidential assistants and advisers, these White House staffers are not accountable for their actions to the Congress, to cabinet officials, and to virtually anyone but the president,” Byrd wrote. “They rarely testify before congressional committees, and often shield the information and decision-making process behind the assertion of executive privilege. In too many instances, White House staff have been allowed to inhibit openness and transparency, and reduce accountability.”

The West Virginia Democrat on Wednesday asked Obama to “consider the following: that assertions of executive privilege will be made only by the president, or with the president’s specific approval; that senior White House personnel will be limited from exercising authority over any person, any program, and any funding within the statutory responsibility of a Senate-confirmed department or agency head; that the President will be responsible for resolving any disagreement between a Senate-confirmed agency or department head and White House staff; and that the lines of authority and responsibility in the Administration will be transparent and open to the American public.”

Obama faces a decision as early as next week on whether to support a claim of executive privilege made by former President Bush in refusing to allow Karl Rove, the former deputy White House chief of staff, to be deposed by the House Judiciary Committee on the White House’s role in the 2006 firing of nine U.S. attorneys.

Bush claimed “absolute immunity” for top advisors in resisting such subpoenas, by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, filed a lawsuit over the issue. The case is on appeal, and the Obama administration is scheduled to file a motion next week laying out its stance on the issue.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Mark said...

With such comments about the "messiah", it won't be long until Sen. Byrd will be ran out on a rail similar to former Gov. Blaguiltovich. Anyone not towing the absolute line will have hell to pay. Let the fireworks begin!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 7:55:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mark--
It is interesting that Byrd, et al, is coming unglued over the mere idea that Presidnt Obama "might" be making a "power grab"!! In other words, ony in the Bush admn. or within Republicanism can anyone make a grab for power!. Ha!! Pleeeeze!! Hello Mark--the days of the Dark Knight are over, along with the likes of Blagultovich, who decided to get on the Bush bandwagon too late.

Recent polls are showing a real public interst in persuing the Bush crimes, and all the jerks who were "in it for the big bucks". Your day in the sun is over. If President Obama persues all of the folks knee deep in the lies and scandals that have essentially halted our economy, then so be it. Let Bush be charged with treason! Fear is at work here sir. I cannot imagine the list of the guilty in compliance if not in actually directing the scandals, lies and manipulations for which all have massive amounts of blood on their hands.
Your mindse seems to be straight from the 16th century. It seems that witch burnings, savage gangs of religious bigots and relentless ignorance are indeed important to you.
Get a grip!! Be thankful that Bush, et al will not be publically hanged.

Jackie Bell

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 9:41:00 pm  
Blogger midnight rider said...

Dear Jackie Bell,

You do realize that's a D after Byrd's name, not an R, correct?

For a Democrat to be this harsh on a fellow Democrat this early is rather interesting.

The point of your comment is confusing, however.

And, as to the statement "Be thankful that Bush, et al will not be publically hanged." why, I'll bet if I said that about Obama you'd say I used the word lynching and label me a racist.

Ah, yes, but the rules certainly are diffrent now that a Liberal is in the White House and not a conservative.

You folks really do have terminal BDS, don't you? Shall I show this president the same respect you showed the previous?

Just want to know how much the rules have changed.

Thursday, February 26, 2009 2:33:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

first of all fellows..Obama is not a liberal..he is a marxist..big difference..problems came from congress not the presidents..congress control how the money is spent..if you think back the economy has beeen hammered fom the beginning of the dems taking over the congress back in 2006..have you forgotten the constant harangue by the dems and the media..they transfromed the mindset of prosperity to doom and gloom..a favorite with marxists..don't think for a minute this has not been a plan..an excellent well thought out one..

Thursday, February 26, 2009 4:08:00 am  

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