Thursday, February 17, 2011

House Votes to Overthrow Obama Czars



(Politico) Republicans successfully added an amendment to the continuing resolution that would leave President Barack Obama’s senior advisers on policy issues including health care, energy and others out of a job.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) offered the amendment that blocks funding for various policy advisers to combat what he called “a very disturbing proliferation of czars” under Obama.

The jobs on the chopping block: White House-appointed advisers on health care, energy and climate, green jobs, urban affairs, the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention center, oversight of TARP executive compensation, diversity at the Federal Communications Commission and the auto industry manufacturing policy.

GOP lawmakers assailed Browner’s office after a recent report showed that the White House rewrote crucial sections of an Interior Department report to suggest an independent group of scientists and engineers supported a six-month ban on offshore oil drilling.

“It was found out that it was the climate czar that actually doctored the president’s own scientific study to try to say that scientists that the president appointed recommended a moratorium on drilling,” Scalise said. “It turned out the scientists didn’t say that at all.”

A federal investigation found no wrongdoing by Browner.

But Scalise had harsh words to go around for the other “czars,” too. “There’s actually a czar out there trying to still impose a cap-and-trade regime,” he said of the special envoy for climate change, Todd Stern, who works at the State Department.

The amendment would defund the White House “green jobs czar” slot that has been vacant since Van Jones resigned in 2009 after reports surfaced that he signed a petition seeking an investigation into whether the U.S. government was behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.