House Bill Restores Constitutional Checks and Balances

March 26, 2007
Speaker Pelosi released the following statement on H.R. 580, Restoring Checks and Balances in the Confirmation Process of U.S. Attorneys, which passed by a vote of 329 to 78:

House Bill Restores Constitutional Checks and Balances in Appointment of Interim U.S. Attorneys

This legislation restores Constitutional checks and balances in the appointment process of interim U.S. Attorneys. It removes a loophole inserted by the prior Republican Congress that permits the indefinite appointment of interim U.S. Attorneys without Senate confirmation.

Recent evidence indicates that the Bush Administration -- contrary to public and private assurances -- exploited this loophole to fire a respected U.S. Attorney in order to appoint a protégé of Karl Rove without confirmation.

Congress must now find out what happened with the unprecedented mid-term firings of U.S. Attorneys for ostensibly political purposes. This legislation is a small step toward restoring confidence and independence in the administration of justice.