Durbin Moves to Withhold Funding From Office of the Vice President Pending Compliance With Executive Order
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The Office of the Vice President asserts that it is not such an "entity within the executive branch that comes into the possession of classified information." The Office contends that because the Vice President has both executive and legislative functions under the Constitution, his office is not strictly an executive branch agency. Serious questions have been raised recently about both the legality and the appropriateness of the Vice President exempting his office from the rules that apply to all other Executive Branch officials.
On June 25, 2007, Durbin wrote to Mr. Cheney (pdf) regarding his attempts to exempt the Office of the Vice President from this executive order. In the letter, Durbin called on Cheney to take corrective action regarding this matter prior to the Subcommittee markup. There was no response from the Vice President's office and today the subcommittee took the step of restricting funding for the Office of the Vice President for fiscal year 2008 unless and until they comply with the executive order. Funding for the Vice President's official residence is in a different account in the bill which is not restricted by today's action.