Dem. Senator Warns Obama to Limit Powers

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West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd is warning President Obama to limit the power he has given to his newly appointed White House "czars."

The President has recently created new offices of Health Reform, Urban Affairs Policy and Energy and Climate Change to oversee federal policy.

However, Byrd, the longest serving U.S senator in history, says the new positions are an over-extension of executive power and "threaten the Constitutional system of checks and balances."

Click play for more with Charles Dunn of the Regent University School of Government.

White House Staffers Not Accountable

In a letter to the President, the Democrat senator warned, "As presidential assistants and advisers, these White House staffers are not accountable for their actions to the Congress, to cabinet officials, and to virtually anyone but the president."

Byrd asked Obama to consider his recommendations that these officials not be allowed to elude investigations by asserting executive privilege.

"Assertions of executive privilege will be made only by the president, or with the president's specific approval," he added.

Senator Draws from Obama's Campaign Rhetoric

The senator also included a line from Obama's campaign rhetoric -- "and that the lines of authority and responsibility in the administration will be transparent and open to the American public."

Obama did not immediately respond to the letter.

Byrd is constitutional scholar who has always stood up for the legislative branch in its role in checking the power of the White House.

Sources: CBN News, The Associated Press

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