Little known to most of us, last Tuesday evening the United States House of Representatives voted on and passed legislation known as the “Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011” (S. 679). Members of the United States Congress have figured out that most of us are paying no attention whatsoever to what they do, but for the few that are, they like to use words in the titles of legislation that fool us into thinking they are doing good things. After all, who could be against our government doing something to make itself more “efficient” and “streamlined”? It almost seems un-American to oppose something named like that. This legislation originated in the United States Senate back in June of last year and was sent to the House where it sat in legislative limbo...until Tuesday that is. The bill eliminates close to 200 positions that normally require Senate approval under the Constitutional process of Senate "advise and consent" normally referred to as "Confirmation". What this means is that the President (any President) will be able to simply appoint people to these particular positions without any congressional review.
Now to be clear, obviously all federal employees are not required to be confirmed by the United States Senate. The United States Constitution gives authority to the President of the United States to appoint "Officers of the United States" in his administration to various positions. Article II, Section 2, directs that these appointments be confirmed or "checked" by the Senate. The same section also prescribes that the congress can "vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone". In other words, all officers must be confirmed unless the congress provides exception by statutory law. Congressional review or Executive branch appointees is a crucial "check" in the framers intent for Separation of Powers and Constitutional "Checks and Balances".
Back to the law I mentioned above that was passed this past Tuesday evening (S. 679). This bill which began in the Democrat controlled Senate, was sponsored by one of the biggest liberals in the Senate, Chuck Schumer. Indeed the list of cosponsors is a veritable who's who of leftist Senators. Why a Republican controlled House of Representatives would vote on this piece of legislation ever, much less right now is so incomprehensible it boggles the mind. At a time when our Constitution is being eviscerated, the Republicans not only undercut themselves...more importantly they have weakened Separation of Powers and weakened the "Appointments" clause in Article II, Section 2.
The Republican line on this is that these are "minor" positions. Really? Again, they assume most of us out here have left them on autopilot...and sadly...they are right. I, however, have NOT left them on autopilot...I watch them like a hawk...becuase I dont trust them. I know that the vast majority in the Republican Party are not Conservative, oh...they like to call themselves Conservative...but they are not. So I took the time to pull up the bill and see who these people (positions) are. There are powerful positions on this list....and of course, why would they have been on the list to start with if they were deemed important enough before?
Upon further investigation into what the Senate had to say last year when they introduced this bill you find that their reason for introducing the bill is not because they think the positions are so minor as to not merit Senate confirmation, but rather their stated reason is that they say they don’t have "enough" time to perform their duty in this area. Right, this from the legislative body that torments us (the people) with strangling legislation about what kind of light bulbs we can use and cannot use, what kind of toilets we must use, and other nonsensical proclamations and resolutions. Yep, they don’t have time for the important stuff of PROTECTING our Constitution! This bill is very, very bad no matter who is the President...the issue isn’t who's in power...but the issue is the SEPARATION of powers. But there is no way to ignore the bad timing of this bill, this President has gobbled up power left and right since being in office, he has appointed Czar after Czar, he has appointed radical self described Communists, Homosexual activists, and radical environmentalists to strategic posts and for these Republicans to increase his authority is extremely negligent.
What I don’t understand as a Conservative is this...why do the Republicans continually stab us in the back? Why a vote on this bill now after it sat in limbo for more than a year? Why did the House leadership buckle on this? There is no getting around it, a look at the Roll Call on this bill is very revealing, it shows us who understands the gravity of this law and who does not understand "checks and balances", it shows us who is serious about checking the unbridled power of a radical Marxist President, and who is not. Once again, we see that it is we the people that have to be vigilant, Thomas Jefferson said "Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories."
The so called “Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act" now sits awaiting signature into law on the President’s desk. A Christmas Present for the President in August, all wrapped up in a bow from a Republican controlled House of Representatives!