Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cheney's funds targeted in secrecy showdown

Cheney's funds targeted in secrecy showdown
By Leora Falk
Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune
Published June 27, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Responding to claims by Vice President Dick Cheney that his office is exempt from disclosing information about what it has classified as secret, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) said Tuesday he will try to cut off the $4.8 million needed annually to run Cheney's office and home.

Last week, Cheney said he is not bound to disclose some national security requirements because, as president of the Senate, he is not part of the executive branch.

On Tuesday, a Cheney spokesman accused House Democrats of playing politics.

The controversy stems from an order signed by President Bush in 2003 that requires all executive agencies and "any other entity within the executive branch that comes into the possession of classified information" to report on what they have classified.

Cheney, as first reported in the Tribune last year, has not disclosed that information. The vice president came under increasing scrutiny last week when Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) released documents highlighting Cheney's failure to report the information and the vice president's suggestion that the oversight office that sought the information be closed.

Emanuel's proposal would be an amendment to a spending bill that includes funding of the executive branch. The measure is expected to be considered by the House Wednesday.

"He's not part of the executive branch. We're not going to fund something that doesn't exist," said Emanuel, who is also the House Democratic Caucus chairman.

Cheney spokeswoman Megan McGinn said, "I think it is sad that Congressman Emanuel would rather focus on partisan politics than the serious issues facing our country."



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