Senate Kills 'Czar' Testimony Amendment

Democratic Whip Objection Helps Sink Measure An amendment to compel President Obama's cybersecurity coordinator and other so-called 'czars' to testify before Congress or face losing funds for their offices will not become law.

Sen. Susan Collins, R.-Maine, sought to attach the amendment to an Interior Department appropriations bill, which drew the objection of Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D.-Ill., and the rider was declared non-germane, an aide to Collins confirmed.

The ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Collins said she and her colleagues have identified at least 18 new "czars" to manage some of the most complex issues facing our country, including cybersecurity. "'Czar' positions within the Executive Office of the President are largely insulated from effective congressional oversight," Collins said in a Senate floor speech on Tuesday.

In remarks made last spring, Collins said establishing such a White House Office of Cyberspace could limit Congressional oversight on cybersecurity. Instead, she said Congress should consider leaving much of the coordination of federal civilian cybersecurity to the Department of Homeland Security.

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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