Senate will hold hearing to probe Obama czars 

A Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Tuesday will scrutinize the "czar" system used by President  Obama and previous administrations.

Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., who heads the Senate Judiciary Constitution Subcommittee, said he wants to explore whether the dozens of czars appointed by the Obama administration constitute "an end run around the advice and consent process."

Feingold said his probe does not involve Senate-confirmed czars such as the Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair.

"I am most interested in those advisors who have been given important portfolios without undergoing Senate scrutiny," Feingold said.
The witness list includes Matthew Spalding, of the Heritage Foundation and University of Virginia Law School's John C. Harrison.

Among the czars appointed by Obama this year was green jobs czar Van Jones, who ended up resigning after controversial past statements surfaced as well as a petition he signed accusing the Bush administration of purposely ignoring warnings of Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Other top advisors not vetted by the Senate include Afghanistan czar Richard Holbrooke and environment and energy czar Carol Browner.
 

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