In September, I offered an amendment that would require the president to make certain czars available to testify before Congress, upon reasonable request, and to report to Congress twice a year, summarizing their activities. My amendment did not cover the president’s personal staff. It did not cover positions already subject to Senate confirmation or otherwise recognized by our laws, such as the director of national intelligence, the national security adviser or the chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board.
Rather, the target of my amendment was those czars appointed by the president who have responsibility for interagency development or coordination of rules, regulations or policies but are not recognized by statute. Because of a procedural tactic, which had nothing to do with the amendment’s merits, Senate Democrats blocked a vote.
This proposal, which I intend to reintroduce, would enable Congress to exercise its oversight role. It would provide for a public reporting mechanism so the American people would have ongoing knowledge and understanding of what the czars are doing and how they are interacting with other top-level government officials.
It would embody the very protections and safeguards our Founding Fathers contemplated and that our Constitution guarantees.
This is not a partisan issue. It is not a political issue. It is an issue of institutional imperative and constitutional prerogative.
Sen. Susan Collins is ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
By Susan Crabtree - The Washington Times
President Obama forgot to return the salute of a U.S. Marine while boarding Marine One Friday morning, then came back out to shake the Marine’s hand, according to a tweet by CBS News’ Mark Knoller.