Obama Skirts Accountability With Policy Czars: Hutchison

Rules are being bent to expand executive power, senator writes

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 13, 2009 2:42 PM CDT

(Newser) – The Obama administration is using its many policy “czars” to skirt the accountability and transparency established by the founding fathers, writes Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Washington Post. The administration has an “unprecedented” 32 czar positions, and “unfortunately,” the senator from Texas writes, “virtually no one can say with certainty what these individuals do or what limits are placed on their authority.”

Hutchison notes that as the senior Republican on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, she deals with issues that concern at least 10 of the czars’ policy specializations—but the president submitted only two for consideration before letting them start their ambiguous work. And the committee can’t compel czars to explain what they are doing, even though they are likely working in the same policy areas. Van Jones’ resignation highlighted the fact that some of these czars may hold radical views and would not pass Senate confirmation, she says. Sadly, much is still unknown about those that remain.

SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 14:  Eco-activist Van Jones accepts an award at Global Green USA's 12th Annual Green Cross Millennium Awards on June 14, 2008 in Santa Monica, California.
SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 14: Eco-activist Van Jones accepts an award at Global Green USA's 12th Annual Green Cross Millennium Awards on June 14, 2008 in Santa Monica, California.   (Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, R- Texas,  speaks to the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in San Antonio, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009.
U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, R- Texas, speaks to the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in San Antonio, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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It is Congress's duty to know who is serving at the highest levels of government, what they are doing, and what qualifications or complications these people bring to the job. - Kay Bailey Hutchison, US Senator-Texas

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