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« Schakowsky Calls for Investigation of CIA | Blog Home Page | Kirk Won't Run for Senate »

Keeping Track Of Obama's Czars

Much has been written about the number of so-called czars in the Obama administration. And some have questioned the constitutionality of such officials playing significant roles in policymaking when, unlike Cabinet secretaries and agency chiefs, they do not require Senate confirmation.

A prominent critic has been Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.), long a guardian of Senate prerogatives and critic of executive overreaching. In a longer look at the Obama czars, I note a the approval Thursday by a Senate committee of language requested by Byrd meant to encourage greater accountability of the Obama czars. Here's the full provision:

"The Committee expects officials employed in whole or in part by the Executive Office of the President, and designated by the President to coordinate policy agendas across executive departments and agencies, to keep Congress fully and currently informed of such activities."

It's no explicit requirement that these czars do anything -- only expressing a wish that they testify regularly about their activities. But it does represent a gentle prodding of the executive branch to provide greater accountability.

You can read my full piece here.