Rahmbo - Taking On Cheney
I know there are some elements of the liberal blogosphere that don't like Rahm Emanuel, but he's one of our best when it comes to streetfighting. Good to see him taking on Cheney.
The White House defended Vice President Cheney yesterday in a dispute over his office's refusal to comply with an executive order regulating the handling of classified information as Democrats and other critics assailed him for disregarding rules that others follow.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Cheney is not obligated to submit to oversight by an office that safeguards classified information, as other members and parts of the executive branch are. Cheney's office has contended that it does not have to comply because the vice president serves as president of the Senate, which means that his office is not an "entity within the executive branch."
The dispute stems from an executive order, issued in 1995 by President Bill Clinton and revised by President Bush in 2003, establishing a uniform, government wide system for protecting classified information. Cheney's office, like its predecessor, filed reports about its handling of classified information to the National Archives and Records Administration oversight office in 2001 and 2002 but has refused to do so since. His office also blocked an on-site inspection to examine its handling of classified data.
The argument that Cheney's office is not part of the executive branch prompted ridicule by many administration critics. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a group that has been highly critical of the White House, suggested that Cheney is "attempting to create a fourth branch of the government." If he is not governed by executive branch security requirements, the group asked if he is covered by Senate rules.
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) said he plans to propose next week, as part of a spending bill for executive operations, a measure to place a hold on funds for Cheney's office and official home until he clarifies to which branch of the government he belongs. Emanuel acknowledged that the proposal is just a stunt, but he said that if Cheney is not part of the executive branch, he should not receive its funds. "As we say in Chicago, follow the money," he said.