President Obama has broken his promise to restore the power of Congress “by appointing a virtual army of ‘czars,’” Republican Eric Cantor writes in the Washington Post. The administration now has at least 32 czars—more than Russia ever did—with each spearheading major policy initiatives. That’s an “end-run around the legislative branch of historic proportions,” the House minority whip contends, because the president's czars don’t need to be confirmed.
The constitution requires that all “principal officers” of the executive branch be approved by Congress. Well, the czars seem fairly principal. The recently deposed car czar managed the government auto takeover, and the pay czar controls the compensation at the top TARP recipients. It’s “not that President Obama’s reliance on czars is illegal,” Cantor writes. “It’s that we have no idea what they’re doing.”