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Budget cuts: The end of the Obama czars

April 12, 2011

By Michael A. MemoliOne of the final battles in Congress in the 2011 budget showdown was over a set of cuts close to conservatives' hearts: Planned Parenthood (read: abortion), environmental regulation and the health care reform law.

Under the 11th hour compromise, funding for the Environmental Protection Agency was restored, and line items for Planned Parenthood and health reform will get their own separate votes. But beyond the sum total of cuts, conservatives scored another symbolic victory.

From Lisa Mascaro's report:

"[The budget deal] preserves funding for some of President Obama's cherished initiatives, including the healthcare and Wall Street overhauls and his education program, Race to the Top. But four of the president's policy czars get the ax: healthcare, climate change, cars and urban affairs."

Obama was not the first president to employ so-called "czars" -- officials appointed by the president but not confirmed by Congress who are charged with a specific policy focus. But the sheer number in the administration has been one of a host of knocks against the White House in the conservative blogosphere and talk radio.

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