by S-Q @ 11:20 AM MDT
Published: Tuesday March 27, 2007
In a 329-78 vote last night, the House of Representatives followed the Senate and stripped President George W. Bush of the authority to appoint United States Attorneys on an interim basis, ending the ability of the Bush administration to do an end run around the Senate in putting controversial US Attorneys in office.
The bill sponsored by Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) places a 120-day limit to the term of a United States Attorney appointed on an interim basis. Democrats allege that the previous authority to appoint interim US Attorneys on an unlimited basis, inserted stealthily into the 2006 reauthorization of the USA Patriot Act, was used as a 'loophole' to insert Bush administration political loyalists into office.
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said the 'awesome powers' of the US Attorneys required Senate confirmation of their appointments.