Thirteen Democrats bolstered the GOP’s frame that several of President Obama’s unconfirmed advisers are “czars” by voting for an amendment to the House spending bill that would defund their offices.
They are Reps. Dan Boren (D-OK), Ben Chandler (D-KY), Jerry Costello (D-IL), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Pete DeFazio (D-OR), Gene Green (D-TX), Larry Kissell (D-NC), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Ed Pastor (D-AZ), Nick Rahall (D-WV), Mike Ross (D-AR), and Heath Shuler (D-NC).
The amendment was sponsored by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who listed the advisers in question as the “ObamaCare” czar, the climate change czar, the global warming czar, the green jobs czar, the car czar, the Guantanamo czar, the pay czar, and the fairness czar. It’s unclear if all these people exist, though Republicans and conservatives have complained about various unconfirmed Obama advisers for years, including Van Jones, who was driven out of the administration, and Carol Browner, who will be leaving the administration in the coming days.
One Republican, freshman Reid Ribble (R-WI), voted not to eliminate these positions.
President Obama has already vowed to veto the House spending bill, so a lot of these amendments will be stripped out of whatever legislation Congress ultimately adopted. After the vote on Thursday, Scalise said Obama’s veto threat was tantamount to “threatening to shut down the government.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.