In Federalist # 48, James Madison talked about the importance of separation of powers:
It is agreed on all sides, that the powers properly belonging to one of the departments ought not to be directly and completely administered by either of the other departments. It is equally evident, that none of them ought to possess, directly or indirectly, an overruling influence over the others, in the administration of their respective powers. It will not be denied, that power is of an encroaching nature, and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it. After discriminating, therefore, in theory, the several classes of power, as they may in their nature be legislative, executive, or judiciary, the next and most difficult task is to provide some practical security for each, against the invasion of the others.
President Obama has been ignoring the constitution as it deals with presidential appointees. The constitution directs that Presidential appointees report to the chief executive but with the advice and consent of congress. Appointees were approved by Senate, and once approved had to answer the questions of both houses.
While other presidents have appointed “Czars” none have appointed the number of Czar’s that Obama has named, or with the amount of policy power that Obama’s Czars have. And that doesn’t include “special Ambassadors” such as George Mitchell who works directly with the President.
Make no mistake, the reason for all of the Czar appointments is to circumvent the Constitution and to create an imperial Presidency. These Czars do not have to be approved by the Senate, nor do they have to answer questions posed by congress. President Obama creates these Czars to hide policy and to back away from the pledge of transparency he made during the early days of his presidency. And now he has proved it.
The President is refusing to allow his “Czars” testify before congress:
…..Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, said White House counsel Greg Craig told her in a meeting Wednesday that they will not make available any of the czars who work in the White House and don’t have to go through Senate confirmation. She said he was “murky” on whether other czars outside of the White House would be allowed to come before Congress.
Miss Collins said that doesn’t make sense when some of those czars are actually making policy or negotiating on behalf of Mr. Obama.
“I think Congress should be able to call the president’s climate czar, Carol Browner, the energy and environment czar, to ask her about the negotiations she conducted with the automobile industry that led to very significant policy changes with regard to emissions standards,” Miss Collins said at a hearing Thursday that examined the proliferation of czars.
The debate goes to the heart of weighty constitutional issues about separation of powers. The president argues that he should be allowed to have advisers who are free to give him confidential advice without having to fear being called to testify about it. Democrats and Republicans in Congress, though, argue that those in office who actually craft policy should be able to be summoned to testify because they do more than just give the president advice.
At issue are the 18 positions Miss Collins says Mr. Obama has created since he took office. Of those, she says 10 – the White House says eight – are in the executive office and not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests or requests for testimony.
Czar is an informal term given to the positions.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent and chairman of the government affairs committee, asked the White House to provide a witness for Thursday’s hearing but it did not send one.
In a letter last week to Miss Collins, though, Mr. Craig explained that the White House is not trying to circumvent Congress.
“We recognize that it is theoretically possible that a president could create new positions that inhibit transparency or undermine congressional oversight. That is simply not the case, however, in the current administration,” Mr. Craig wrote.
Mr. Craig said the new positions Mr. Obama has created within the White House “are solely advisory in nature” and have no independent authority.
Senators disagreed with that evaluation, pointing to Mrs. Browner and health care czar Nancy-Ann DeParle, who is Mr. Obama’s health care adviser.
“We do happen to have a Cabinet officer with Health and Human Services with whom I have never had a conversation on health care, not because I have any opposition to her but because it’s my perception Nancy-Ann DeParle is calling the shots,” said Sen. Robert F. Bennett, Utah Republican. …
…Legal experts testifying before the Senate panel said Congress needs to be careful not to overreach in reacting. They said options open to lawmakers include writing new laws to restrict advisers’ authority or writing the positions into law as needing Senate confirmation. A White House aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said they are trying to work to accommodate “all reasonable congressional requests for information” and said some White House advisers have given informal briefings to members of Congress in lieu of testimony.
The aide also said some czars are outside the White House itself and they can be called to testify. The aide said five of them have already done so.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, blasted Republicans for raising the issue and said she took offense at their comparisons between Mr. Obama and President Nixon.
She said Congress should instead be looking at the legality of presidential signing statements to shape how laws are implemented – a tool whose use expanded substantially under President George W. Bush.
Last month, Miss Collins offered an amendment to compel administration officials to testify, but it was ruled not germane to the bill being debate.
Democrats said it went too far because it would have covered all executive branch employees, including the national security adviser and the chief of staff, who have always been recognized as out of bounds.
Miss Collins said the issue shouldn’t be so intractable and that Congress and the White House should be able to agree on a list of people who should be able to testify.
For his part, Mr. Lieberman said he’s still looking for a good solution.
“We both share a desire to do something about this to help Congress uphold our responsibility for oversight, but we understand the balance here as reflected in the Constitution,” he said.