WHITE HOUSE:

GOP claims credit for killing already-shuttered climate post

House Republicans touted the elimination today of the White House's Office of Energy and Climate Change as a key Democratic concession in the budget deal unveiled last night.

But the White House had announced previously that it had decided to shutter the office within the Domestic Policy Council (DPC) (E&ENews PM, March 3).

The official blog of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) noted this morning that the spending agreement "eliminates federal funding for four of the Obama Administration's controversial czars."

Among those "czars" whose positions have been defunded is the post of assistant to the president for energy and climate change, which had been held by Carol Browner until she stepped down in January. Browner and her office had been the focal point for the White House's cap-and-trade push during the first two years of the Obama administration.

The other czar posts named in Boehner's blog today are the director of the White House Office of Health Reform, the senior adviser assigned to the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry and senior counselor for manufacturing policy, and the White House director of urban affairs.

Boehner's blog notes that the "proliferation of czars under the Obama Administration has become a potent symbol of big government."

A White House official said this afternoon that over the last several months, the White House has undergone a reorganization that involved the consolidation of several offices.

"Included in that larger reorganization, earlier this year the Domestic Policy Council assumed responsibility for health care, as well as energy and climate change policy coordination and development in the White House," the official said. "The [continuing resolution] agreements reflect those changes."

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