What has Sen. Chuck Schumer been up to?

If you blinked you probably missed the latest Bill sponsored by Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. The Bill is titled S. 679: Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011.
[We want to thank Americans for Restoring the Constitution and Donna Beach specifically for bringing this to our attention]

Why does it matter?

S.679 is summarized by Congressional Research Service as:

“Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act of 2011 – Exempts certain presidential appointments to cabinet-level agencies, independent commissions, and boards in the executive branch from the requirement of Senate confirmation (advice and consent). Establishes the Working Group on Streamlining Paperwork for Executive Nominations to: (1) study the streamlining of paperwork required for executive nominations, and (2) conduct a review of the impact of background investigation requirements on the appointments process.”

The key point is that this Bill is intended to take Congress out of the appointment process. It is removing a branch of the government, effectively increasing the power of the Executive office (the President). While it sounds positive on its face, there are dire ramifications to this Bill by Sen. Schumer.

Here is an example that has already occured. Van Jones. The former “Green Jobs” czar. A man that was appointed without Congressional oversight. A man that is a self-avowed communist (which has never been denied or amended by Jones). A man that has ideals that are unquestionably far-left and outside the majority of the American public.

Van Jones never answered any questions about his beliefs. He never explained how he got the appointment, nor his intentions on how to transform America into “green” jobs – or at what cost those jobs might come. In fact, when the media (yes, lead by Glenn Beck – but then followed by the major media as well) began to ask him about his statements, like his belief that 9/11 was a government conspiracy, the White House simply fired him. In the middle of the night, over a weekend, during a holiday. To date, there have been no substantive answers from the White House or Van Jones.

Imagine that. The White House, under the Obama Administration, appointed a person with immense power to a position that arguably is critical the the future of the nation (at least as President obama envisions it) and rather than vett this man and his credentials, he was simply let go. What was being hidden? Yes, hidden, because anyone that is removed from such a high position at midnight Saturday (as we recall) without notice to the media is being shuffled out in relative secret.

For those of a more Liberal persuassion, look at it from another example. Michael Brown, former head of FEMA under President Bush. He was appointed to that position, with Congressional oversight. His appointment ignored several facts about his resume and abilities. A failure of Congress that ultimately lead to the slipshod (at best) reaction to Hurricane Katrina.

IF an unqualified individual like Brown can be appointed to an Undersecretary cabinet position, imagine how unqualified an individual could be appointed to an even higher level Cabinet position if the streamline process eliminates Congressional approval? Imagine the damage that can be done to the public at large by such an individual.

Considering these 2 examples, from 2 different Presidents under different Congresses, what exactly is the benefit of REDUCING the ability of Congress to approve of Cabinet members?

Article 2 Section 2 (Advice and Consent Clause) of the Constitution states:

“He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he 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.”

The purpose of the Advice and Consent Clause is to give the President strong authourity, yet keeping him from becoming a dictator by the Congress. The the President cannot be surrounded by a group of yesmen that would allow him to usurp power from the public, nor a group that would weaken the President and make him ineffective at protecting the nation.

S.679 by Senator Chuck Schumer removes this check and balance of the Advice and Consent Clause.

Who exactly is Senator Schumer waiving into the Government without so much as a hello?

  • RURAL UTILITIES SERVICE ADMINISTRATOR
  • COMMODITY CREDIT CORPORATION
  • ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS
  • CHIEF SCIENTIST; NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
  • ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION
  • ASSISTANT SECRETARIES OF DEFENSE FOR LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS, PUBLIC AFFAIRS, AND NETWORKS AND INFORMATION INTEGRATION
  • ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY FOR FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
  • ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY FOR FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
  • ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE FOR FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
  • MEMBERS OF NATIONAL SECURITY EDUCATION BOARD
  • COMMISSIONER, EDUCATION STATISTICS
  • DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE FOR DOMESTIC PREPAREDNESS; ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR OF THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA), GRANT PROGRAMS

    There are many more positions as well. But in the list above you can see that positions responsible to emergency care of the nation after a disater get less oversight. Less oversight is poised for the military spending, as is education stats which provide insight on how well our children are learning and how well our massive spending on education is working. Even a position that could sway the offical position on “Global Warming” (or climate change if you prefer) for or against, based on the bias of the individual selected, without regard for their credibility or qualifications.

    It goes on and on. Plus there are 8 Amendments to the original Bill that so far have yet to be noted – “Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration“. Those amendments may increase the scope of the waiver, the positions it affects, or restrict it.

    Which again brings us back to the original point. While the major media has skipped over this Bill for more sexy news, this is vital. If passed, it sets a precedence for greater power by the President and less of an ability for the Congress to do anything about it.

    That may sound great to some Liberals, like Sen. Schumer, right now with the very liberal President Obama in office. But what will they think when a more Conservative (which would be any President of the past) President takes office? Or what if the nation is lead, against the will of the people, into a socialist doctrine? Or for that matter an authoritative one?

    This law is not just about who is in office right now. The ramifications go far beyond today. It unbalances the delicate system put in place right after the birth of this nation.

    If this Bill passes into law, and there is another fiasco like Hurrican Katrina, or another avowed communist takes a position of power that causes the public to suffer via their enforcement of laws, Senator Chuck Schumer is first in line to thank. And that is the best case scenario.

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  • About the Author

    Michael Vass
    Born in 1968, a political commentator for over a decade. Has traveled the U.S. and lived in Moscow and Tsblisi, A former stockbroker and 2014 Congressional candidate. Passionate about politics with emphasis on 1st and 2nd Amendments.

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