Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Obama Thumbs his Nose at Boehner, keeps Czars, Breaks Another Promise

One of the knocks on House Speaker John Boehner is that he caves and doesn't have the political courage to confront Obama and the Democrats. His response to Obama's refusal to honor the terms of the budget deal reached at the 11th hour - relative to the part about the elimination of 'Czars' - will either assuage some of those concerns about Boehner OR it will reinforce them. There are four 'Czar' positions in the Obama administration that were to be eliminated as part of the terms of the deal. Obama has chosen, instead, to thumb his nose at Boehner.

Via the Daily Caller:
In marked contrast to vows as a candidate not to use presidential signing statements as “an end run around Congress,” President Obama released a statement on the just-signed spending bill saying despite the law’s restrictions on “czars,” he will “construe” the law not to interfere with “presidential prerogatives.”

The move is an aggressive power play by Obama to gain an added advantage from the deal struck a week ago between the president, Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to narrowly avert government shutdown.

The legislation prohibits government money being spent on four Obama “czars,” newly created positions with far-reaching sway over federal agencies but facing no confirmation vote in the Senate.

However, some of the czars banned in the bill have already stepped down, and it is unclear whether replacements will be appointed.

Obama in his signing statement says the provision in the legislation prohibiting funding for the salaries of the four czars runs afoul of the president’s “well-established authority to supervise and oversee the executive branch, and to obtain advice in furtherance of this supervisory authority.”
The DC piece has one short excerpt on Boehner's reaction to the thumb in his eye that made a pass by Obama's nose first.
A spokesman for Boehner, Michael Steel, said “It’s not surprising that the White House, having bypassed Congress to empower these ‘Czars’ is objecting to eliminating them.”
Nowhere in that statement do I see any kind of commitment from Boehner that he will refuse to accept the signing statement. If that's all he's going to say or do about this, we have yet another indicator that Boehner is not willing to pick a righteous fight. Doing so here would be symbolic, yes, but the crying Speaker really does need to instill some voter confidence in his ability to do this job. So far, he's not having much luck.

Here is Obama in 2008, saying he will not issue signing statements to get his way. At minimum, Boehner and company should be hammering Obama on this. Breathe freely because holding your breath in hopes that Boehner will go after Obama on this is hazardous to your health.

Read it all.

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