LARSON STATEMENT ON Interim Appointments of U.S. Attorneys
Today Congressman John B. Larson, Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, released the following statement regarding H.R. 580, a bill which will provide for a 120-day limit to the term of a United States attorney appointed on an interim basis by the Attorney General without being confirmed by the United States Senate. The bill is expected to be adopted on the suspension calendar later today.
"Based on the first hand accounts of several U.S. Attorneys, Attorney General Gonzalez has abused his authority. Mr. Gonzalez has on more than one occasion disregarded our constitution and the U.S. Congress. This bill is a step in the right direction, but the best direction would be for Gonzalez to step down as Attorney General."
The bill restores the process for temporarily replacing U.S. attorneys to what it was previously. The Attorney General would be empowered to appoint someone to serve up to 120 days. If the Senate did not confirm a permanent replacement by then, the chief judge of the federal district would be able to appoint a temporary replacement to serve until the Senate acted. The bill also includes a provision to prevent the Administration from using the Vacancies Act to allow the Attorney General to make continuous interim appointments of U.S. Attorneys.