Congressional Republicans Speak Out Against Unlawful Expansions Of Presidential Power For Political Gain!

February 5th, 2009at 10:43pm Posted by Eli

Better late than never, right?

House Republicans are incensed about the prospect of the Census Bureau director reporting directly to the White House.

A senior White House official said the Obama administration intends to circumvent Commerce Secretary nominee Judd Gregg to assuage black and Hispanic leaders who had raised concerns about the New Hampshire Republican’s commitment to core functions of the department.

But that plan has produced hot-under-the-collar reactions from two leading Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. They see it as an effort by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to seize power over the politically delicate issue of counting Americans.

“Any attempt by the Obama administration to circumvent the census process for their political benefit will be met with fierce opposition as this ill-conceived proposal undermines a constitutionally obligated process that speaks to the very heart of our democracy,” said California Rep. Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the committee.

Issa and North Carolina Rep. Patrick McHenry, the top Republican on the subcommittee that oversees census issues, sent a letter to President Obama detailing their concern that such a move might circumvent existing law and be used for partisan gain.

“Requiring the census director to report directly to the White House and placing responsibility for administration of the Bureau outside the Department of Commerce may even violate federal law,” they wrote. “According to Title 13 of the U.S. Code, the Bureau is to be administered ‘within, and under the jurisdiction of, the Department of Commerce.’ According to U.S. Code, the Executive Branch is limited to providing support for the Bureau in the form of information and resources.”

(…)

“The constitutionally mandated decennial census needs to be fair, accurate and trusted. By circumventing the secretary of Commerce’s oversight of the Census Bureau and handing it directly to a political operative such as Mr. Emanuel, you are severely jeopardizing the fairness and accuracy of the 2010 census,” Issa and McHenry wrote.

Raise your hand if you didn’t see something like this coming a mile away.  The only element of it that I didn’t expect is the fact that they’re protesting a power Obama is trying to add, rather than the exercise of one he inherited.  Which makes it kind of a political gift from Obama.  On the other hand, we wouldn’t really want a Republican administering the census either.  Gee, maybe someone should have thought of this before Obama nominated yet another Republican.

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Obama,Politics,Republicans,Wankers


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