A couple prominent Democrats have now publicly split with President Government over the size and scope of the administration’s continued march toward federal control of everything.
First, the former Klansman and current Democratic Senator from West Virginia, Robert Byrd, has accused Obama of using the economic crisis as a power grab:
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), the longest-serving Democratic senator, is criticizing President Obama’s appointment of White House “czars” to oversee federal policy, saying these executive positions amount to a power grab by the executive branch.
In a letter to Obama on Wednesday, Byrd complained about Obama’s decision to create White House offices on health reform, urban affairs policy, and energy and climate change. Byrd said such positions “can threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances. At the worst, White House staff have taken direction and control of programmatic areas that are the statutory responsibility of Senate-confirmed officials.”
While it’s rare for Byrd to criticize a president in his own party, Byrd is a stern constitutional scholar who has always stood up for the legislative branch in its role in checking the power of the White House. Byrd no longer holds the powerful Appropriations chairmanship, so his criticism does not carry as much weight these days. Byrd repeatedly clashed with the Bush administration over executive power, and it appears that he’s not limiting his criticism to Republican administrations.
Byrd also wants Obama to limit claims of executive privilege while also ensuring that the White House czars don’t have authority over Cabinet officers confirmed by the Senate.
For once, Robert Byrd and I are on the same page. Funny how the enemy of my enemy is my friend, isn’t it?
Next, adding to the chorus of Republican governors refusing some of the wasteful stimulus money, the Democratic Governor of Tennessee, Phil Bredseen, has also begun challenging the porkulus plan:
WASHINGTON — Tennessee and Georgia may turn down some of the economic stimulus money if the restrictions outlined in the package cause budgetary hardship in the future, the governors said Monday.
After meeting with President Barack Obama, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said some provisions in the package for unemployment benefits would force states to expand their programs permanently, even though the stimulus funding only lasts for two years.
“We are evaluating this piece of money, whether it makes sense for us to take it,” he said. “We may well be one of the states that say we can’t take on that portion of it.”
Of issue is the package’s unemployment modernization provisions, which require states to update their unemployment insurance systems and provide jobless benefits to workers who now don’t qualify for benefits.
The governors aren’t morons like those in Washington, they know they have to run their states more efficiently than the federal government or they’ll be tossed out. People like Bredesen can’t just drink the Obama/socialist kool-aid and call it hunky-dory like the clowns in Washington.
How stupid is it that the so-called stimulus plan from Washington will force states to change laws if they want money, yet then the states will be saddled with the bill 2 years from now. No, thank you.
The states don’t want to rewrite their laws to comply with the socialist mandate from Washington. They also do not want to begin receiving funds based on the number of welfare recipients they can signup.