Czars won’t testify

The Washington Times reports:

The White House has told Congress it will reject calls for many of President Obama’s policy czars to testify before Congress – a decision senators said goes against the president’s promises of transparency and openness and treads on Congress’ constitutional mandate to investigate the administration’s actions.

Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, said White House counsel Greg Craig told her in a meeting Wednesday that they will not make available any of the czars who work in the White House and don’t have to go through Senate confirmation. She said he was “murky” on whether other czars outside of the White House would be allowed to come before Congress. . .

In a letter last week to Miss Collins, though, Mr. Craig explained that the White House is not trying to circumvent Congress.

“We recognize that it is theoretically possible that a president could create new positions that inhibit transparency or undermine congressional oversight. That is simply not the case, however, in the current administration,” Mr. Craig wrote.

Mr. Craig said the new positions Mr. Obama has created within the White House “are solely advisory in nature” and have no independent authority.

That is a complete lie, at least in regards to some of the czars. Ken Feinberg, the pay czar, was recently all over the news for ordering cuts in executive pay, which he did without any higher approval. Senators also pointed to Carol Browner, the climate czar, and Nancy-Ann DeParle, the health czar, who they said seemed to be operating independently.

(Via Hot Air.)

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