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Executive Branch breaking more of the balance of power?

Fishfan79

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Updated:2007-04-05 06:18:51
'Swift Boat' Donor Installed as Ambassador
By JENNIFER LOVEN
AP
WASHINGTON (April 5) - President Bush named Republican fundraiser Sam Fox as U.S. ambassador to Belgium on Wednesday, using a maneuver that allowed him to bypass Congress , where Democrats had derailed Fox's nomination.

The appointment, made while lawmakers were out of town on spring break, prompted angry rebukes from Democrats, who said Bush's action may even be illegal.

Democrats had denounced Fox for his donation to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth during the 2004 presidential campaign. The group's TV ads, which claimed that Sen. John Kerry exaggerated his military record in Vietnam, were viewed as a major factor in the Massachusetts Democrat 's election loss.

Recognizing Fox did not have the votes to obtain Senate confirmation in the Foreign Relations Committee, Bush withdrew the nomination last week. On Wednesday, with the Senate on a one-week break, the president used his power to make recess appointments to put Fox in the job without Senate confirmation.

This means Fox can remain ambassador until the end of the next session of Congress, effectively through the end of the Bush presidency.

"It's sad but not surprising that this White House would abuse the power of the presidency to reward a donor over the objections of the Senate," Kerry said in a statement.

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said he plans to ask the Government Accountability Office to issue an opinion on whether the recess appointment is legal.

Recess appointments are intended to give the president flexibility if Congress is out for a lengthy period of time, such as the four-week adjournment in summer. But Dodd said the law was not intended to circumvent lawmakers' approval.

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"This is really now taking the recess appointment vehicle and abusing this beyond anyone's imagination," said Dodd, a candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. "This is a travesty."

Bush also used his recess appointment authority to make Andrew Biggs deputy director of Social Security. The president's earlier nomination of Biggs, an outspoken advocate of partially privatizing the government's retirement program, was rejected by Senate Democrats in February.

Presidents since George Washington have made appointments during congressional recesses to fill positions in the executive and judicial branches. Bush has used the authority more frequently than some - but not all - of his most recent predecessors, making 171 so far, compared with 140 for President Clinton over two terms, 77 by his father in one term and 243 by President Reagan during two terms.

Some of Bush's more notable recess appointments include John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Bolton arrived at the U.N. in August 2005 after being appointed during a congressional recess because he twice failed to be confirmed by the Senate. Still unable to get Senate backing, he stepped down in December.

Others include include William Pryor and Charles Pickering as federal appeals court judges, in 2004, and Otto Reich as an assistant secretary of state, in 2002.

Fox, a 77-year-old St. Louis businessman, gave $50,000 to the Swift Boat group. He is national chairman of the Jewish Republican Coalition and was dubbed a "ranger" by Bush's 2004 campaign for raising at least $200,000. He is founder and chairman of the Clayton, Mo.-based Harbour Group, which specializes in the takeover of manufacturing companies.

Fox has donated millions of dollars to Republican candidates and causes since the 1990s.

In answer to questions about the Swift Boat donation, Fox has said he gives when asked, insisting he was not involved with the writing of the ad scripts and never saw them before they aired but had been aware of the general thrust of the group.

Fox issued a statement saying he is "delighted and honored" to accept the ambassadorial appointment.

"As the son of a man who fled Europe to find freedom and a better life, I am especially humbled by the opportunity to return to that continent as this nation's representative," he said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/sw...404172309990001




Whether he is just rewarding one of his cronies for their donations to the republicans or not I believe the issue here should be whether this and other instances of the executive branch in the last 4 of them have been taking more and more abuse of power. From Regan, to Bush to Clinton to now Bush again it seems more and more the executive branch has striven for more control and abusive stances against the balance of power that is held within the 3 branch system of government.


Any thoughts on that?
 

FutureGM

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This is not really news that the executive branch has been taking more and more power. I'm convinced that the people in the White House do not believe in the concept of Separation of Powers.

In this case, Bush knew there was no way in hell that Congress would approve this nomination, so he went around Congress once again, which tends to make their members very angry, regardless of political affiliation.
 

Jimmy42Jack0

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This is not really news that the executive branch has been taking more and more power. I'm convinced that the people in the White House do not believe in the concept of Separation of Powers.

In this case, Bush knew there was no way in hell that Congress would approve this nomination, so he went around Congress once again, which tends to make their members very angry, regardless of political affiliation.
i cant even believe there are people out there that A. think Bush is a good president B. thinks he is a religious man beyond when it is conveinent for him C. find his cronies to be trusthworthy in the least bit
 

Juanky

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Geez, you mean the Executive Branch would want more power? Kind of like the Legislative Branch wants more power? Human nature people. Besides, recess appointments are in the Constitution (so there's no "breaking the balance of power") and have been done by a laundry list of Presidents.

You want to fight this issue? take it up with TJ, Hamilton, and Madison.

And furthermore, is there a complaint here based on merit? So what if the guy contributed money to the swifts. He is a Republican, after all! You wouldn't be bitching if a Democrat appointed a loyal contributor to Move On during a recess. Stupid party stupidities.
 

Flying_Mollusk

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Geez, you mean the Executive Branch would want more power? Kind of like the Legislative Branch wants more power? Human nature people. Besides, recess appointments are in the Constitution (so there's no "breaking the balance of power") and have been done by a laundry list of Presidents.

You want to fight this issue? take it up with TJ, Hamilton, and Madison.

And furthermore, is there a complaint here based on merit? So what if the guy contributed money to the swifts. He is a Republican, after all! You wouldn't be bitching if a Democrat appointed a loyal contributor to Move On during a recess. Stupid party stupidities.

Has any president ever done it during short vacations? There seems to be a big difference.
 

Passion

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Maybe if congress wasn't taking such a bloated vacation when funding for a war is still needed they wouldn't have run in to this.
 

Flying_Mollusk

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Maybe if congress wasn't taking such a bloated vacation when funding for a war is still needed they wouldn't have run in to this.

They are giving Bush the funding. The emergency funding will pass with plenty of time.

And Bush getting on Congress's case while he is in Crawford and takes so much vacation himself is ironic.
 

Juanky

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Has any president ever done it during short vacations? There seems to be a big difference.
Not sure, and it doesn't really change anything anyways.

Still a nonstory IMO
 

FutureGM

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The reason that this is different is because it is a small recess, not normally the time that this would happen.

I also am personally against political cronyism, no matter the party. Basically Fox paid $50K to get this job.
 

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