Earlier today, The Washington Independent’s Dave Weigel reported that Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) had written a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, requesting that “the 44 appointed ‘czars’ of the Obama Administration” appear before a congressional hearing “to testify about their roles and responsibilities.” When Weigel asked McHenry’s office where he got the number 44, McHenry spokesman Brock McCleary provided him with a list from Politico and a thread from the far-right web forum FreeRepublic.com:
“We’re using a variety of sources and finding everyone who has been referred to as a ‘czar,’” said McCleary. “It would be appropriate for the WH to release a formal list.”
In the meantime, McClearly provided me with two sources that McHenry’s office is using to build a czar list: this list from Politico, and this thread from the conservative web forum FreeRepublic.com. The FreeRepublic thread begins with a list from the conservative AmericanDaughter.com, which calls the appointment of czars “the beginnings of dictatorship” and includes several administration officials who’ve actually been confirmed by the Senate.
Not only does McHenry’s list contain numbers officials who have been confirmed by the Senate, but it also includes a member the Cabinet, Education Secretary Arne Duncan. In essence, McHenry wants some Obama officials who were confirmed by the Senate to testify about how they were “neither vetted by the Senate nor required to testify before Congress.” For more on crazy czar conspiracies, read today’s Progress Report.