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Eugene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-25-07 01:04 PM
Original message
GAO: Fox appointment didn't violate law
Source: Associated Press

Last updated June 25, 2007 10:35 a.m. PT

GAO: Fox appointment didn't violate law

By SAM HANANEL
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER

WASHINGTON -- Government investigators concluded that President
Bush acted legally when he used his recess appointment power to
install Sam Fox, a multimillionaire businessman and GOP fundraiser,
as ambassador to Belgium.

The Government Accountability Office said Fox can continue to serve
in the diplomatic post but cannot draw a government salary.

Three Democratic senators had asked the GAO to investigate whether
Bush acted illegally in making the appointment. Bush withdrew the
nomination in March, just minutes before it was up for a vote in the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but then gave Fox a recess
appointment on April 4, while Congress was in recess for the Easter
holidays.

Democrats on the committee had been expected to try to defeat the
nomination because Fox contributed to the Swift Boat Veterans for
Truth during the 2004 presidential campaign. The group's TV ads,
which claimed that Democratic Sen. John Kerry exaggerated his
military record in Vietnam, were viewed as a factor in Kerry's loss
to Bush.

-snip-

Read more: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1155AP_Ambassado...
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-25-07 01:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. makes a good case for doing away with recess appointments.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-25-07 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. There needs to be a tighter definition of recess
Examples of possible restrictions.

A recess appointment cannot be made when the vacancy exists so many days prior to any break in session.

A recess appointment cannot be made when the vacancy exists as a result of advanced knowledge of a resignation.

A recess appointment can only be made when the break in session lasts longer than 4 weeks.

A nomination pulled cannot be pulled from consideration and then given a recess appointment.

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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-25-07 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. it's actually an antiquated system that should be eliminated
for most positions. I am willing to accept it at the cabinet level, as these are essential figures of government, and should be available to the President in fact of an intractable Senate, but in this day and age, Ambassadors are no longer essential figures.

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CottonBear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-25-07 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
2. The Fox appointment does, however, violate the Belgians.
Sorry y'all. We tried to stop Chimpy but he made yet another end run around the law. :(
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efhmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-25-07 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
3. We have laws? When did that happen?
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-25-07 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. Incredible spin!
The State Department has already conceded that point, and Fox has agreed to work for free. But federal law also prohibits the government from accepting "voluntary services" when the employee's salary is specified by law, as it is for U.S. ambassadors.

The GAO concluded that Fox is not really volunteering, since he is legally prohibited from receiving a salary. Thus, Fox could not file a future claim against the government for compensation, which is what the law was meant to prevent.

Fox's appointment will last through the end of Bush's term in office.

link


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Kagemusha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-26-07 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. Spin? No, it's a very narrow loophole, but it apparently does exist.
Which burns me to no end. Just shows that Congress wrote the law badly again.
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alcibiades_mystery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-25-07 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
6. Defund the embassy, with apologies to the Belgians
Fox can be the ambassador without staff and office.
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cigsandcoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-25-07 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Doesn't that punish the staff, though?
I'm sure most of them are hard-working and long term State Department employees.
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alcibiades_mystery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-25-07 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. They can be re-assigned
As for the Belgian staff, too bad for them. We are either fighting here, or we are wringing our hands and quibbling.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-25-07 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
8. Wait until next round of recess appointments!
I hear there's a few openings in the justice department.
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