President Obama Wednesday eliminated two White House Czars, one who was no longer needed and another whose main task is finished for the next two years.
According to a New York Times piece on the new Daley-Plouffe White House, Obama abolished both the White House health care office and the climate and energy post.
It’s nice to see the president trim back the number of unaccountable officials in his government. White House aides cannot be called to testify on Capitol Hill, and are answerable to no one but the president.
The former Health Czar, Nancy Ann Deparle, achieved her mission of passing health reform and has moved on to become deputy chief of staff.
The former Climate Change Czar, Carol Browner, recently left the administration, having failed to get Congress to move a cap and trade bill. With the 2012 election already looming, there is no way Obama is going to try to force through such controversial legislation unless he is reelected.
The deletion of the two posts can also be seen as a victory in the endless Washington wars for Medicare chief Donald Berwick and his nominal boss at HHS, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who together will now run the implementation of the health care law and lead the fight against Republican attempts to destroy it. Deparle will certainly be active on the issue, but she’ll have other things on her hands, and there won’t be a separate health care power center at the White House.
Likewise, Energy Secretary Steven Chu now reigns supreme on climate and energy policy.