House Narrowly Defeats Measure to Defund Vice President’s Office

The House of Representatives just narrowly defeated an amendment to deny funds to operate Vice President Dick Cheney’s office. Cheney had insisted that his office is exempt from Executive Department oversight by arguing that he is not part of that department. Rep. Rahm Emanuel proposed the amendment as a counter to that incredible claim.

The measure was defeated 209-217, with most Republicans and 24 Democrats siding with Cheney. GOP Presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas and Walter Jones of North Carolina voted in favor of defunding Cheney’s office.

Emanuel tried to attach the amendment to a bill funding the Treasury Department and other agencies that could have faced a veto by President Bush. The overall bill includes a salary increase for House members that would bring their annual pay to nearly $170,000 next year.

The attempt to kill funds for Cheney’s vice presidential office and the government-owned mansion he lives in came on the same day Bush said he would not provide documents being subpoenaed by Democrats in Congress related to the firings of federal prosecutors.