Senate Democrats are looking to play budgetary hardball with Dick Cheney’s office over his refusal to, you know, let the American people know just what he’s been up to (aside from shooting his friends):
A Senate appropriations panel chaired by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., refused to fund $4.8 million in the vice president’s budget until Cheney’s office complies with parts of an executive order governing its handling of classified information.
At issue is a requirement that executive branch offices provide data on how much material they classify and declassify. That information is to be provided to the Information Security Oversight Office at The National Archives.
Cheney’s office, with backing from the White House, argues that the offices of the president and vice president are exempt from the order because they are not executive branch “agencies.”
Naturally, some Republicans are not pleased with this development:
Republicans on the Senate panel said Durbin was going overboard in using Congress’ power of the purse to try to force Cheney to conform with the order.
Such a step, said Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., would set a terrible precedent in relations between the executive and legislative branches of government, which have historically let each other set their own budgets.
But, uh, wait… I thought Cheney’s office wasn’t part of the Executive branch. So, just how is it going to “set a terrible precedent in relations” between the two branches. Why, if anything, this is just a familial squabble among fellow legislative members of the government!
Oh, Cheney’s full of crap? And Brownback’s an idiot?