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Debate Over Selected Presidential Assistants and Advisors: Appointment, Accountability, and Congressional Oversight
Barbara L. Schwemle (au)
One issue of interest to Congress may be whether some of President Obama’s appointments (particularly some of those to the White House Office), made outside of the advice and consent process of the Senate, circumvent the Constitution. A second issue of interest may be whether the activities of such appointees are subject to oversight by, and accountable to, Congress. This report provides brief background information and selected views on the role of some of these appointees and discusses selected appointments in the Obama Admin. Additionally, it discusses some of the constitutional concerns that have been raised about presidential advisors. These include, for ex., the kinds of positions that qualify as the type that must be filled inaccordance with the Appointments Clause, with a focus on examining a few existing positions established by statute, executive order, and regulation. The report also reviews certain congressional oversight processes and assesses the applicability of these processes to presidential advisors. Legislative and non-legislative options for congressional consideration are presented. An Appendix provides tables showing selected appointments in the Admin. of PresidentObama, the membership of the President’s Cabinet, and selected legislation, introduced in the 111th Congress, related to the issues discussed in this report. Tables.
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