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