August 6, 2012. Washington. In another scarcely-reported event, the Constitution was legally reinterpreted by the federal government on Tuesday with Congress surrendering authority over Presidential appointments to the President…alone. No longer will America be stalemated by partisan politics over the hundreds of appointments the President is empowered to make, waiting for a divided Senate to approve them. Like so many other changes to our government lately, the President now has sole authority.
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) led the bipartisan effort to give up Senate confirmation authority. Image courtesy of ABC News.
Details about the new law are difficult to find due to an apparent media black-out over the change. A comprehensive search however does turn up at least a few details.
Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act
That’s the name of the Bill that will become law as soon as President Obama affixes his signature to it. And rest assured, no law will ever be more gladly signed by a sitting US President. The Act gives the President sole authority to make appointments for many of the hundreds of government positions. Until now, the US Senate had to vote to approve each nomination.
As we all remember, Senate Republicans withheld votes on Clinton nominations. Democrats did the same to President Bush. And Republicans are back to stonewalling President Obama’s appointments today. It’s a problem that has led to hundreds of important, vacant positions throughout the federal government on a never-ending basis.
For that reason, a bi-partisan effort to surrender their checks and balances over the President has been in the making for years. The Senate willingly gave up its power on June 29, 2011 when it voted 79-20 to give-up its ‘confirmation’ authority. The Bill, S 679, was sponsored by a Democrat, Chuck Schumer (D-NY), but co-sponsored by Republicans including the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
On its side of the Legislature, the House voted last week to pass the Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act by a margin of 261-116, with 54 not voting. As soon as it’s signed by President Obama, it will become law.
A report by The New American is one of the only places in the US to find the news. In it, they quote Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, arguing, “Important positions will be filled faster, government agencies will be more capable of offering valuable services to their constituents, and the overall confirmation process will be more efficient.”
The above account also references one of the Act’s lonely opponents stating, ‘In a memo sent to Capitol Hill in advance of Tuesday’s vote in the House, Thomas McClusky of the Family Research Council reminded lawmakers, “The United States Constitution does not bestow kingly powers on the President to appoint the senior officers of the government with no process.” The Heritage Foundation was one of the few groups that openly joined the FRC in opposition.’
The Law – Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution
It’s called the, ‘Appointments Clause’ and it says the US President:
‘shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.’
As the clause clearly states, Congress has the power to give up its power to any of the three – the President, the courts, or the ‘heads of departments’. Congress once again chose to give its power to the President. For those searching for a second confirmation that the change is real, visit the Tulsa World where they inform local Tulsa residents of how their Congressmen voted on the Act. The national corporate news, for obvious reasons, has not reported the change.
Bad idea – Whiteout Press commentary
America’s system of government shouldn’t be changed to an imperial presidency simply because two corrupt organizations, Republicans and Democrats, have put lust and greed above their oaths of service to our country. For too long, those two parties have taken turns sabotaging America simply to make the other look bad, and profiting handsomely in the process.
Presidential appointments should be judged on their merits. But that is obviously too much responsibility for 100 of America’s top leaders to shoulder. At the rate we’re going, the solution to long polling place lines on Election Day will be to surrender the right to vote and let the President appoint our representatives.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first instance of Congress, aka ‘We The People’, betraying the trust of we the people and handing over their powers, oversight and authority to what has been universally called the new American Imperial Presidency.
The news shouldn't be left wing or right wing, conservative or liberal. It should be the news. It should be independent - Whiteout Press
No list could do justice to the changes that President Bush and President Obama have made to the very structure of the United States government. From the moment President Bush dissolved the US Constitution and passed a series of ‘Patriot Acts’ - to the two Presidents’ overlapping and nationalizing the country’s banking industry, insurance industry, auto industry and unions - to today where President Obama has given himself sole authority to assassinate American citizens at will, the imperial presidency will empower not just the current President, but each President that comes next.
For those opposed to an imperial presidency, there’s still hope. Forces are gathering and enough members of both parties, in both chambers of Congress, have shown a willingness to fight back. Read the below two articles from just the past few days for more information.
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