May 24, 2011
One of the great powers of being a king is the ability to award staunch supporters and friends positions of power and wealth within the king’s domain. Once a subject is raised to one of these lofty positions he is allowed to remain there at the pleasure of the king, and as long as he does the kings bidding the endowed subject is allowed to remain in his position of power.
Currently in the Senate is bill S.679 entitled “Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011.” This bill, introduced by Senator Schumer and a whole list of communist want-to-bees, including Harry Reid, desires to give the President the power to appoint many high level executive office positions from “advice and consent of the Senate” to positions that are appointed by the President and are retained in those positions “at his pleasure.”
Article 2, Section 2, Clause 2 in the U.S. Constitution states that the executive shall: “He shall have power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate… shall appoint … 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 rationale behind having such checks and balances was to ensure that people being placed in positions of power within government would be above all qualified for such positions and second that they were not being placed there as a puppet for an agenda driven executive.
Let’s take a short detour and discuss another item of governmental control – the executive order. The president, as the chief executive officer over the federal government, historically has used executive orders, rightfully I might add, to direct the operations of the departments under his authority. For instance, the President may order a department head to ensure that he prepare a report on his departments fiscal health on a quarterly basis. The law may state only that the departments must provide fiscal data to the executive on a regular basis and the President is informing that department of what, in this case, regular is to mean.
But the executive order cannot, legally, create law – Article 1, Section 1 of the Constitution states that All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress…” The only legal way for a law to be valid is through congressional authority.
Upon this basis then we look at some of the statements of the current administration:
• In a New York Times article from February 12, 2010 it states that “President Obama and his team are preparing an array of actions using his executive power to advance energy, environment, fiscal and other domestic policy priorities.” In the article Rahm Emanuel, then White House chief of staff, stated “We are reviewing a list of presidential executive orders and directives to get the job done across affront of issues.”
• As recent as today, May 11, 2011 the Washington Examiner headlines, in its politics section, “Obama ready to deploy executive powers against GOP hill.” “In response, Obama is expected to make more frequent use of executive orders, vetoes, signing statements and policy initiatives that originate within the federal agencies to maneuver around congressional Republicans who are threatening to derail initiatives he has already put in place, including health care reforms, and to launch serial investigations into his administration's spending. ‘There is going to be an effort on the president's part to use [executive powers] to satisfy his base and institutionalize what he can,’ said John Kenneth White, professor of politics at the Catholic University of America. This week, the Environmental Protection Agency begins regulating greenhouse gas emissions at some energy plants and factories -- a move Obama pushed for after his cap-and-trade environmental legislation stalled in Congress.
So throughout his term in office he has been determined to get his agenda in place either with the assistance of Congress or in defiance of them. He is acting as a king with a puppet parliament that no longer wants to be manipulated and he will get his way the nation be damned.
The one thing that will ensure this victory is to be able to put people into key high level officer that he will have the ability to hold accountable only to him. But how can that be done because the Congress must consent to most positions of presidential nominations – enter Senate Bill 679.
Though the title includes the words streamlining and efficiency; the only thing it streamlines and makes more efficient is the president’s ability to place key people in strategic positions and to have the power to do so without ANY oversight.
So what positions does this bill call for removing from congressional approval?
Assistant Secretaries of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service Administrator,
and Commodity Credit Corporation leadership
2. The Chief Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
3. Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information
4. Under the Department of Defense he wants direct appointment power over
a. Assistant Secretaries of Defense for Legislative Affairs
b. Assistant Secretaries of Defense for Public Affairs
c. Assistant Secretaries of Defense for Networks and Information Integration
d. Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management.
e. Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Financial Management.
f. Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management.
5. Members of the National Security Education Board. This board consists of only some of the most influential individuals in Federal Government: Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Education, Secretary of State, Secretary of Commerce, Directory of Central Intelligence, the Chairperson of the National Endowment for the Humanities and six persons appointed by the President. With the ability to appoint half the board with his personal choice, without congressional consent, he will be able to gain further control in the policy enforcement and direction.
6. Under the Department of Education
a. Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs
b. Assistant Secretary for Management
c. Commissioner Rehabilitation Services Administration,
d. Commissioner Education Statistics
7. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs
8. Department of Health and Human Services
a. Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
b. Assistant Secretary for Legislation
c. Commissioner, Administration for Children, youth and Families
d. Commissioner administration for Native Americans
9. Under the Department of Homeland Security (we wouldn’t want Congress to get in the way of National Security)
a. Director of the Office for Domestic Preparedness
b. Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Grant Programs
c. Administrator of the United States Fire Administration
d. Director of the office of Counter Narcotics Enforcement
e. Chief Medical Officer
10. In the Department of Housing and Urban Development the President will appoint three positions that are outside congressional approval, and the control over who works there, what they want from Congress, and what they want the public to know they are:
a. Chief Human Capital Officer
b. Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations
c. Assistant Secretary for Public Relations
11. Under the Department of Justice he will appoint:
a. Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs
b. Director, Bureau of Justice Statistics
c. Director, Bureau of Justice Assistance
d. Director, National Institute of Justice
e. Administrator, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
f. Director, Office for Victims of Crime
12. Under the Department of Labor:
a. Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management
b. Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs
c. Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
d. Director of the Women’s Bureau
13. Department of State:
a. Assistant Secretary for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs
b. Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
c. Assistant Secretary for Administration
14. Department of Transportation –
a. Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs
b. Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Director of Policy Planning
c. Assistant Secretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer
15. Treasury Department -
a. Treasurer of the United States
b. Director of the Mint - which also included language that would allow the removal of the Director without notifying the Senate as to the reasons for removal.
16. Department of Veterans Affairs -
a. Assistant Secretary for Management
b. Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration
c. Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs
d. Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs
e. Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology
17. Appalachian Regional Commission; alternate Federal Co-Chairman
18. Council of Economic Advisers, Members – only one of the members will be appointed with consent of Congress the remaining will be appointed by the President alone.
19. Corporation for National and Community Service; Managing Director will no longer be appointed by consent of Congress.
20. National Council of Disability; Members – All members, including the chairperson, will be at the whim of the President.
21. All presidential appointments for National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities; National Museum and Library Services Board; Members – without consent of Congress.
22. National Science Foundation; Board Members – All of them.
23. Office of Management and Budget; Controller, Office of Federal Financial Management
24. Office of National Drug Control Policy; Deputy Directors – All of them.
25. Office of Navajo And Hopi Relocation; Commissioner – Ditto
26. Office of Science And Technology Policy; Associate Directors – all Ditto
27. Office of Science and Technology Policy; Associate Directors – Again, Ditto.
28. United States Agency For International Development -
a. Assistant Administrator for Legislative and Public Affairs
b. Assistant Administrator for Management
29. Administrator for the Community Development Financial Institution Fund
30. Administrator, St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation
31. Commissioner, Mississippi River Commission
32. Governor and Alternate Governor of the African Development Bank
33. Governor and Alternate Governor of the Asian Development Bank
34. Governors and Alternate Governors of the IMF and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
35. Governor and Alternate Governor of the African Development Fund
36. National Board for Education Sciences; Members – All members
37. National Institute for Literacy Advisory Board; Members – All members
38. Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development; Members as well as Board of Trustees
39. Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects
40. Public Health Service Commissioned Officer Corps – all officer commissions and promotions will be at the pleasure of the President.
41. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps - all officer commissions and promotions will be a the pleasure of the President.
42. Chief Financial Officer Positions
If passed this bill will amount to the greatest power grab in the history of American governance. This would, in effect, allow the President to directly appoint key officers into every vital area of our national government with the power to coerce and demand compliance with his wishes or be removed and replaced with someone who will do what they are told to do.
The reason the Constitution mandated the consent clause was to ensure a President could not do what this President is trying to do – grab power unconstitutionally. He, and his cronies, have already admitted they have been frustrated by the lack of movement in their agenda and have threatened to “go around the wall” by whatever means they can.
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Executive orders are the means by which the President directs his staff and if abused can cause the departments to act under the color of law as we have already seen with the EPA and its desire to regulate CO2 without congressional legislation. This would create a true fiat government – a government relegated presidential decree via the Executive Order.
We cannot allow this travesty to come to fruition – please contact your Congressmen and demand that they vote against Senate Bill 679 (Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011).