Czar Wars Part 2

The budget bill that Obama just signed into law included a provision to eliminate some of the many czars Obama has named. Congress objected to these unelected people taking high positions (and salaries) in the administration without their approval. Czars are not responsible to the American people, nor must they answer to legislators. Yet, they get funding for offices and staffs and take salaries themselves. Their power is basically unchecked.

But now Obama has issued a signing statement on the bill. In essence, in a signing statement the president declares his constitutional interpretation of the legislation differs with its content and he won’t abide by it. It’s the equivalent of flipping the bird to the American people. He wants his czars to remain and even though he agreed to drop them, he will keep them.

Funny, because a YouTube clip shows Obama at a 2008 campaign stop in which a woman asks him specifically about signing statements. He agreed to not use them, citing checks and balances in our system that must be upheld. Obama said he would either veto or sign a bill, castigating Bush for making signing statements. “That’s not part of his power,” Obama said. “Part of the whole theory of George Bush that he can make laws as he’s going along. I disagree with that. I taught the Constitution for ten years. I believe in the Constitution and I will obey the Constitution of the United States. We’re not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end run around Congress. All right?”

What changed? Which reporter will bring this up to him?


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