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People can wrap themselves inside the Constitution, spew anything they choose to say, stick their tongue out in your face and declare you can't do anything about what they said. They have Freedom of Speech. Right? Yes! However, Freedom of Speech, comes married to the responsibility for ones own actions. If you say it, write it or draw it, be ready to defend it. Cower in silence, you abdicate your freedom and allow the bullies and censurers to win.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

PRESIDENTIAL POWER GRAB - ALL HAIL KING OBAMA!

PRESIDENTIAL POWER GRAB
We need to call, email or FAX members of the US Senate and protest an upcoming bill. 

S 679 is titled:
Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011


This bill removes from the Senate the power to vote their consent for Senior Government Appointments, placing in the Office of the President powers contrary to those accorded in the Constitution.  While it is tacit that the process to name and approve these appointments needs to be streamlined, it should not be upon the backs of our rights and freedoms declared in the United States Constitution.

The Constitution's Appointment Clause reads:

"... shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments."


The Heritage Foundation wrote in a recent article the following:

"The Senate Should Preserve, But Speed Up, Its Role in Senior Presidential Appointments

When the delegates of the states gathered in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 and wrote the Constitution, they distributed the powers of the federal government among two Houses of Congress, a President, and a judiciary, and required in many cases that two of them work together to exercise a particular constitutional power. That separation of powers protects the liberties of the American people by preventing any one officer of the government from aggregating too much power.
The Framers of the Constitution did not give the President the kingly power to appoint the senior officers of the government by himself. Instead, they allowed the President to name an individual for a senior office, but then required the President to obtain the Senate's consent before appointing the individual to office. Thus, they required the cooperation of the President and the Senate to put someone in high office.

Many of the Framers had practical experience with government and recognized that not every office would be of sufficient authority and consequence as to merit the attention of both the President and the Senate to an appointment to the office. Therefore, they provided a means by which the Congress by law could decide which of the lesser offices of government could be filled by the President alone, a court, or a department head."
 
By removing these offices from the Senate consent process, they diminish the power of the Senate and increase the power and role of the Presidency, further reducing the Checks and Balances set up by our Founding Fathers in the Constitution.  Furthermore, S 679 does not determine if the offices named in the bill are of "little or no consequence".  Rather, it deems that because the Senate is too slow, the sponsors feel that they should streamline the process and bypass the Senate Confirmation process. 

Now wouldn't it make more sense that if speeding up the process of appointments, then the Senate shouldn't the Senators review their internal process and look to modify it?  Also, the Executive Branch  should look internally at their own procedures in an effort to streamline the vetting process which has become over-burdensome and invasive as it travels through the federal bureaucracy before reaching the Senate. 

As usual, this legislation uses a sledgehammer to fix a problem, when a Love-Tap is more appropriate.  Legislation should not be necessary to "mandate" that the President tell his staff to cut the layers of bureaucracy, communicate with other departments and agencies (You know - Play nice boys!), nor to tailor the vetting process to the needs of the actual job the appointment is being made.  The "Working Group"created under the Executive Branch and appointed directly by the President not only is an additional power grab, but another layer of bureaucracy we can ill afford and a relinquishment of powers conferred upon Congress by the Constitution.

** More than 200 positions will be affected - this is a sampling of some of the Appointments to be directly under the Power of the President:
  • The Agriculture Department's Commodities Credit Board
  • Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service Administrator
  • The Chief Scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • The Commerce Department's Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information
  • The Defense Department's Assistant Secretary for Networks and Information Integration
  • The Assistant Secretaries of each of the armed services for financial management
  • The Education Department's Assistant Secretary for Management
  • Education's Commissioner of Education Statistics
  • All 7 of the Assistant Secretaries of Energy
  • The Department of Homeland Security's Director of the Office of Domestic Preparedness
  • Homeland Security's Assistant Administrator of FEMA for Grant Programs
  • The Department of the Treasury's Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer
  • The Treasurer of the United States
  • Director of the US Mint
  • The Governors and Alternate Governors of the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (amending Section 3 of the Bretton Woods Agreements Act)
  • Governor and Alternate Governor of the Asian Development Bank (amending Section 3(a) of the Asian Development Bank Act)
  • Governor and Alternate Governor of the African Development Fund (amending Section 203(a) of the African Development Fund Act)
  • Managing Director of the Corporation for National and Community Service
  • The Office of Management and Budget's Controller, Office of Federal Financial Management
  • Director of the Community Development Financial Institution Fund
 If this doesn't scare you?  How about this fact - The bill sponsor is Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and includes Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) as co-sponsor.  The following Republicans also signed onto S 679:
Alexander (TN)
Brown (MA)
Collins (ME)
Johanns (NE)
Kyl (AZ)
Lugar (IN)
McConnell (KY)

Hot Air also has a good article on this boondoggle! Read it here! 


VOTE NO!

ON S 679 AND ANY COMPANION BILLS THAT WILL DIMINISH THE POWER OF CONGRESS AND INCREASE THE POWER ACCORDED TO THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE BRANCH.

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