As you all know by now, Vice President Dick Cheney has asserted that his office is not bound by certain sections of a presidential executive order that seeks to protect national security information generated by the government. Under the order, offices of the executive branch are required to give the Information Security Oversight Office regular reports on how much material they classify and declassify. Cheney's office provided the information in 2001 and 2002, then stopped.
Cheney's argument is essentially that his office isn't part of the executive branch and is, therefore, not required to comply. Cheney's imaginative argument is that because the vice president also serves as president of the Senate, his office is not part of either the Executive or Legislative branches of government. Consequently, it isn't subject to rules governing the Executive branch, nor the much more restrictive Senate rules when it comes to the handling of classified documents! Really folks, you can't make this stuff up!
So now, as Raw Story reports, Rahm Emanuel has moved to cut funding for Cheney's office:
Following Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion that his office is not a part of the executive branch of the US government, Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) plans to introduce an amendment to the the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill to cut funding for Cheney's office.
"The Vice President has a choice to make. If he believes his legal case, his office has no business being funded as part of the executive branch," said Emanuel in a statement released to RAW STORY. "However, if he demands executive branch funding he cannot ignore executive branch rules. At the very least, the Vice President should be consistent. This amendment will ensure that the Vice President's funding is consistent with his legal arguments."
At a press briefing yesterday, White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino said that Cheney's assertion that he operates outside of the executive branch of government was "an interesting constitutional question that people can debate" and a "non-issue."
On Thursday, Emanuel suggested that if Cheney feels his office is not part of the executive branch "he should return the salary the American taxpayers have been paying him since January 2001, and move out of the home for which they are footing the bill."
Cheney is clearly not a judge so he can't be part of the Judicial branch. He's hasn't been elected or appointed to a seat in the Senate and doesn't have the status or privileges of a Senator. And, if he's not subject to rules governing the Executive branch then he can't be vice president either since the vice presidency is an integral part of the Executive branch according to the US Constitution.
The only conclusion we can come to is that Dick Cheney is a rogue state all unto himself. A rogue state shouldn't be receiving taxpayer funding, it shouldn't receive the protection of the Secret Service and it shouldn't be allowed to fly on Air Force Two. Cheney has clearly just maneuvered himself right out of the US government and the office of the vice president.
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