Move to cut off Cheney’s funds falls short

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday narrowly defeated a Democratic amendment to deny funds to operate Vice President Dick Cheney’s office next year in a feud over his handling of classified documents.

By a vote of 217-209, the House defeated legislation designed to rebuke Cheney for refusing, over objections by the National Archives, to comply with an executive order that set government-wide procedures for safeguarding classified national security information.

Debate on the measure also gave Democrats another chance to mock Cheney’s recent contention that he was exempt from the rule on executive-branch documents because he also serves as president of the Senate, part of legislative branch. He has since stepped back from that argument.

“The vice president must know that no matter what branch of government he may consider himself a part of on any given day or week, he is not above the law,” said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the Illinois Democrat who wrote the amendment to a bill funding White House salaries and expenses next year.

Further needling Cheney, the amendment would have provided money for him to operate his office in the Senate while denying the nearly $5 million for running the vice president’s office and home in Washington.

Emanuel tried to attach the amendment to a bill funding the Treasury Department and other agencies that could have faced a veto by President George W. Bush. The overall bill includes a salary increase for House members that would bring their annual pay to nearly $170,000 next year.

The Democratic attempt to kill funds for Cheney’s vice presidential office and the government-owned mansion he lives in came on the same day Bush said he would not provide documents being subpoenaed by Democrats in Congress related to the firings of federal prosecutors.

Since Democrats took control of the House and Senate in January, they have mounted several high-profile challenges to Bush administration policies and practices, resulting in friction between the two branches of government.

During the first six years of his presidency, Bush’s fellow Republicans controlled Congress and rarely questioned him.

Republicans complained that Thursday’s amendment was nothing more than a political dig at Cheney.

“Because some members may not like the current vice president or any future vice president does not mean Congress should use its power of the purse to eliminate funding for the office,” said Rep. Ralph Regula, an Ohio Republican.

Rep. Henry Waxman, the California Democrat who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has claimed Cheney sought to eliminate the office at the National Archives that made the request for documents. The White House has denied Cheney attempted to close the National Archives and Record Administration’s Information Security Oversight Office.

Democrats and Cheney have been tangling since early into his tenure as vice president. For years, Democrats have tried to gain access to records of Cheney’s meetings with oil and gas industry officials when he was crafting energy proposals early into the Bush administration.


  1. Liberal girl raised in Texas

    What a bunch of cowards congress is!!! WE the people must hold *Dick* Cheney accountable for his lies, manipulations, treason and for continually circumventing our Country’s laws and the Constitution!!! If we don’t, he has proven that he is above the law! Many people have left office in disgrace and/or gone to jail for MUCH, MUCH less!

    Have some huevos my fellow Americans, and lets IMPEACH him now, before BUSHCO figures out a way to suspend the 2008 elections and declare martial law. At that point all will be lost, and the America we grew up in will be gone forever!

  2. SEAL

    5 million to run his office? I sure would like to see a breakdown of that. I can’t imagine it would take that much money to run anyone’s office and house. They call it a government owned mansion. I guess so with 5 million allocated. Perhaps that compensates for his paltry salary of only $200,000 a year. He must have a hell of a house staff. Or maybe its all those plane rides to check on the new multi million mansion he bought himself last year. I wonder where the money for that came from?

  3. UpChukker

    Or maybe its all those plane rides to check on the new multi million mansion he bought himself last year. I wonder where the money for that came from?

    One word… Halliburton! And just think, we (the American taxpayer) have to pay that $200,000 to him even out of office for the rest of his life. Jeeesus, our Government has worked some fine deals for themselves over the years!

  4. UpChukker

    Bryan…You have a fine way of expressing yourself that resonates with all of us who loath this administration. We have Pelosi on the coast here and she has mouthed publicly that impeachment “is off the table”. For that she will pay in her next election. It was almost as admitting she was on the payroll of the GOP.

    Why has our anger not communicated to the congress? Do we have to charge the senate balcony and throw garbage at them? What does it take to get their attention. The Representative in my district is bobblehead Rorhbach. He laughs with impunity at any Dem who goes up against him. His gerrymandered district was surely drawn after poling everyone on GOP support. He thinks Global Warming comes from excessive dinosaur farts. He has voted with Bush over 97% of the time. We Dems in his district are hard pressed to remove him.

  5. bryan mcclellan

    My greatest fear is that Dich der uber fuhrer will give the order to zap the little cowboy and seize the reins of power by declaring martial law,and don’t think for one moment that he and his cabal haven’t tossed this one at the wall to see if it will stick.Congress has sorely underestimated the evil intent of the foul corporate borg and lobbyists that have reduced them to figureheads and taken to writing and amending the law for their private gain.FRICTION is the key word in Mr Cowans commentary. Legislators need to pull up their panties and dust off the laws they have ignored for to long. Clearly they have recourse where these matters are concerned but lack the will to act. We need to continue to hold the power of the vote over their heads until they hold these treasonous SOB’s to account.Contact your Reps. today and scream if you have to,FEAR US FOR WE ARE LEGION!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. JudyB

    Its a damned shame that we are paying the “big dick” 5 million to finance anything while he screws us!
    A note to Seal: The Dick has his money from profits from Haliburton due to his ability to get them un-bid on government contracts that have resulted in ba$illion$.

  7. bryan mcclellan

    Thanks UpChukker,love your handle.It’s truly fascinating to me that being as modestly educated as I am ,Ive been able to resist the spin that we are subjected to by our so called highly educated leaders.They cannot possibly be so dumb and blind as to what has happened since 911,and neither are we.It has to be outright arrogance and greed that fuels what I perceive to be their total disregard for the common man .I for one,if possible,am going to try to hold them accountable.My wife,tells me I’m a cynic but I think I’m just wary and am touched by the irony of what I see and hear come out of this government.I’m sure to get kicked over the turnip truck by the mule a few more times but by the grace of the creator I’m not giving in. It’s great to have a site with such diverse opinions as C.H.B and I hope to be able to enjoy all the great commentaries for a long time to come.