On July 15, with little fanfare, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) introduced the Czar Accountability and Reform (CZAR) Act of 2009,* written to prohibit taxpayer funds from paying the salaries at “any task force, council, or similar office which is established by or at the direction of the President and headed by an individual who has been inappropriately appointed to such position (on other than an interim basis), without the advice and consent of the Senate.”
Since then, Kingston has gotten 34 co-sponsors, including Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), and four co-sponsors of the infamous “birther” bill–Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), Rep. John Carter (R-Texas), Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), and Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas). And according to Kingston’s spokesman Chris Crawford, the number of co-sponsors may go as high as 70 today, when members who expressed interest in the bill over the August recess are added on.
As I’ve pointed out, half of the people listed on a popular list of “czars” were either confirmed by the Senate or hold jobs created by previous presidents. Crawford said that Kingston’s own list of “czars” is at 34, but includes seven people who actually went through Senate confirmation hearings. “If you’re confirmed by the Senate, you’ve gone through the process, filled out applications, and answered tough questions,” said Crawford. Nonetheless, Kingston appeared “Your World With Neil Cavuto” and went after “Science Czar” John Holdren, the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy who was confirmed unanimously by the Senate.
The list of co-sponsors so far:
*Arguably, the acronym should be CAR.