Vice President Dick Cheney has said his office only partially belongs to the executive branch. Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden disagrees and Republican rival Sarah Palin isn’t saying.
Sen. Biden (Del.) believes the office he is seeking is solely in the executive branch, according to his staff. But aides to Alaska Gov. Palin did not answer the question.
“Unlike Dick Cheney, Joe Biden won’t have to create a full employment plan for lawyers and scholars to clear up something that was unquestioned for about 200 years. The vice president is part of the executive branch, period. End of story,” said Biden spokesman David Wade.
In turn, a spokesman for the Republican presidential campaign did not answer the question. Instead, he e-mailed remarks Palin gave at a campaign rally in Golden, Colo., on Monday.
Palin did not say what branch of government she believes the vice president’s office is part of in those remarks. Instead, Palin said she and Republican presidential nominee John McCain had discussed what responsibilities she would take on as his second-in-command.
“My mission is going to be energy, security and government reform and another thing near and dear to my heart: It’s going to be helping families who have special needs and children with special needs,” said Palin.
A Cheney spokesperson declined to comment for this story.
Cheney said his office was not fully part of the executive branch and as such did not have to comply with ISOO’s request.
Consequently, Democrats sought to cut financing for the office last summer. They argued if Cheney did not believe he was a member of the executive branch, he should not receive appropriations for the office. An amendment to the Financial Services spending bill, sponsored by Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), to cut Cheney’s funding was defeated by eight votes.
At the time, Biden said he would support Emanuel’s amendment. In an interview on CNN in June 2007, the Delaware senator, himself a constitutional law professor, called Cheney’s contention that he is not fully part of the executive branch “cockamamie.”
“This ridiculous construct, this constitutional web [Cheney’s] weaving that he is president of the Senate, he’s not a — look, if he’s not, Rahm Emanuel has a bill. If he’s not a member of the executive branch, good. Eliminate his salary. Take away his house,” said Biden.
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has also said his vice president would serve as part of the executive branch.
“My vice president ... will be a member of the executive branch. He won’t be one of these fourth branches of government where he thinks he’s above the law,” said the Illinois senator at a town-hall meeting in Raleigh, N.C., last month, according to The Associated Press.