UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. See main page for full contents

September 18, 2009

DEMOCRATS BECOMING SKEPTICS OF CZARISM

Politico - Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin joined the anti-czar chorus Wednesday, asking Obama to detail the roles and responsibilities of all of the czars in his administration and to explain why he believes the use of czars is consistent with the Senate's constitutional power to offer advice and consent on top-level executive branch officials. "To the extent that this undercuts that role and people are put in the place of Cabinet people and really are the key authorities and you can't question them, that's something worth talking about," Feingold said. "I think it's a fair point." Feingold says he doesn't know if there are any constitutional violations, but he suggested that he may hold an oversight hearing on the matter. . . Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) - a fierce defender of congressional authority - argued in a letter last February that the czars may upset checks and balances in the federal government.

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