Reacting to the Office of the Vice President’s assertion that it is not an “entity within the executive branch,” Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) will introduce an amendment this week to cut off funding to Cheney’s office. Last night on MSNBC, he was asked how much money is spent on Vice President Cheney for an executive office he claims he’s not apart of:
MATTHEWS: Do you know, Congressman, how much money — how much money is spent by the taxpayer to give this guy a huge operations staff, a huge policy staff? He’s got travel all over the world. Do you know how big a budget he has right now?
EMANUEL: He has a residence. He has an entire operation that supports him as vice president. And then he also has, as you said, the travel. I mean, it’s in the millions of dollars.
Now we have a number. Roll Call reports today that President Bush has requested $4.75 million in fiscal 2008 to fund the Vice President’s operations (parts of which are housed, notably, in the Executive Office Building.)
In related news, Emanuel’s proposal is gaining steam in the Senate. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), who chairs the subcommittee that funds the vice president’s budget, yesterday warned Cheney that “his office would risk losing its budget” unless the vice president agrees to follow the executive order. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) also said he would “seriously consider” legislation to defund Cheney’s office, calling it “one of the only resorts we have.”
UPDATE: The White House budget request is HERE.