Blackburn Introduces Czar Resolution
Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) today introduced H.Con.Res. 185, a Sense of Congress Resolution that would request the President to certify the qualifications and responsibilities of certain special advisors known as "czars". The resolution has 93 original cosponsors.
"All Presidents have a right to staff their administration as they see fit within the confines of the Constitution," Blackburn said. "Where I have concerns is when a President shifts duties away from officials who are subject to Congressional oversight to those on his personal staff who are not. These aides wield extraordinary influence and the American people have a right to know who they are, why they are qualified for their jobs, what their conflicts of interest might be, and what their job discriptions are. The President has an obligation to disclose this information."
Many "czars" have already disclosed the relevant information and been subject to public scrutiny through the Senate confirmation process. Blackburn believes that all "czars" should be subject to equal disclosure and is calling on the President to disclose the same detailed information for these special advisors as he would for a nominee seeking Senate confirmation.
"I was reading the questionnaire that the Senate Armed Services Committee requires all nominees under its jurisdiction to fill out. It is detailed, intrusive, public, and entirely appropriate for someone who takes on the public's trust. It would be a tremendous model for the President to use in complying with this resolution. If czars are going to act with the authority of cabinet secretaries, the public should know as much about them."