TRENDING:

SPONSORED:

Senate kills measure to defund policy 'czars'

The Senate voted 47-51 on Thursday to kill an amendment offered by Sen. David VitterDavid VitterPoll: Republican holds 14-point lead in Louisiana Senate runoff Louisiana dishes last serving of political gumbo Trump tweets about flag burning, setting off a battle MORE (R-La.) that would have ended the ability of the White House to appoint policy "czars,” and prohibited the use of federal funds for the salaries and expenses of czars already appointed.

ADVERTISEMENT
The measure needed 60 votes to pass.

Before the vote, Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerSenate Dems hold out on spending deal, risking shutdown Dems see ’18 upside in ObamaCare repeal Confirm Gary Richard Brown for the Eastern District of New York MORE (D-N.Y.), the Senate’s third-ranking Democrat, decried the amendment from the floor as an attempt to weaken the Democratic presidency and as a “poison pill” for the underlying legislation.

"It is a poison pill designed to handcuff the president's ability to assemble a team of top-flight advisers and aides," Schumer said. 

Vitter was attempting to attach the amendment to a bill that would streamline the presidential appointment process.

ADVERTISEMENT
Vitter, who offered the amendment along with Republican Sens. Rand PaulRand PaulBrexit leader Farage pushing US-UK trade deal to Trump Senate sends annual defense bill to Obama's desk GOP rep: Trump has 'extra-constitutional' view of presidency MORE (Ky.), Dean HellerDean HellerReid bids farewell to the Senate Reid defends relationship with McConnell in farewell speech Governments and businesses: Teaming up for taxpayers MORE (Nev.) and Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyMnuchin, Price meet with GOP senators Business groups express support for Branstad nomination 10 no-brainer ways to cut healthcare costs without hurting quality MORE (Iowa), argued that the czars appointed by Obama possess too much power and ought to be under the jurisdiction of the Senate. 

“These czars are provided with a considerable amount of power and influence, putting them on the same level as cabinet members who are thoroughly vetted and approved by the U.S. Senate, but without the public scrutiny,” said Vitter in a press release.  “I’m very concerned about that undefined authority of what are essentially political advisory positions, especially when the decisions they make can have a profound effect on our lives.”