Dick Cheney on Government Reform

Vice President of the United States under George W. Bush


Championed theory of "unitary executive" to expand power

Cheney concentrated on efforts to strengthen and expand the powers of the presidency--and his own great influence within the George W. Bush administration. As described in Barton Gellman's account of the Cheney vice presidency, "Angler," he not only deftly maneuvered the vice presidential nomination for himself but went on to shape the office of the vice presidency into an unprecedented power center in its own right. Cheney championed the theory of the "unitary executive," holding that the Constitution bestowed total power upon the president as commander in chief of the armed forces in wartime. In the process, he embraced and stoutly defended administration legal positions justifying extreme practices in foreign and domestic intelligence surveillance that dismayed civil liberties defenders. Joe Biden labeled Cheney as the most dangerous vice president in the history of the Republic.
Source: A Life of Trial & Redemption, by Jules Witcover, p.402 , Oct 5, 2010

Needless regulation on employers costs $7,000 per worker

We must continue to reduce the burden of needless regulation on employers. The hidden costs of regulation amount to $7,000 per worker, and that slows job creation in America. Our administration is committed to reducing the burden of overregulation and making the rules simpler to understand. Small businesses should be focused on growing our economy and creating new jobs, not on fulfilling ineffective mandates from Washington, DC.
Source: Remarks at the National Minority Enterprise Conference , Sep 30, 2003

Opposed CFR because previous reforms failed

[Pres. Bush invited Sen. McCain to the White House to discuss Campaign Finance Reform]. To McCain’s surprise, the meeting was held in the Oval Office rather than in private residence, as he had been led to expect. Another surprise was that Vice-President Cheney was also at the meeting. Some Republican allies of McCain’s had tried to persuade Cheney to urge the White House to cooperate with McCain, but Cheney had made it clear that he was against reform, telling some people that he thought it would hurt the Republican Party (which had an advantage in fund-raising). From time to time, Cheney expressed misgivings about reform, he said that previous reform laws hadn’t worked, which wasn’t totally the case.
Source: Citizen McCain, by Elizabeth Drew, p. 16 , May 7, 2002

Didn’t vote in local elections because his focus was global

Cheney acknowledged he failed to vote in 14 of the past 16 elections in Texas. He was dismissive of the nonfederal elections he missed. “Go look at the elections in Texas there, an awful lot of these were local issues--that Highland Park school board issue,” he said. Asked if local elections aren’t as important as federal elections, he said: “I’m sure they are for people that are connected with them. I was not involved in community affairs very extensively in Dallas. My focus was on global concerns.”
Source: Megan Garvey, Mark Z. Barabak, LA Times , Sep 9, 2000

Accused in 1992 House banking scandal

In 1992, Cheney was named along with a number of representatives in the House banking scandal. He acknowledged overdrawing his account 21 times, but in a military-style briefing featuring blowups of canceled checks, Cheney showed the amounts ranged from $12 to $1,945. He also pointed out that he never went more than 5 days before a paycheck covered the overdrafts.

Cheney was also criticized for giving Pentagon briefings to supporters who had donated $5,000 to the RNC.

Source: Glen Johnson, Boston Globe, p. A12 , Jul 26, 2000

Co-sponsored Line Item Veto for spending bills

Source: Thomas Register of Congressional Votes , Jan 1, 1988

Campaign reform: more parties; less unions & corporations

Source: Thomas Register of Congressional Votes , Jan 1, 1988

Co-sponsored Balanced Budget Amendment & spending reform

Source: Thomas Register of Congressional Votes , Jan 1, 1986

Co-sponsored House TV coverage & legislative openness

Source: Thomas Register of Congressional Votes , Jan 1, 1986

Sponsored bill for line-item veto on budgetary proposals

Source: Congressional Record , Jan 1, 1985

Voted for Congress salary cap; against Chrysler bailout

Source: Congressional Record, in Poltics in America, Alan Ehrenhalt , Jan 1, 1985

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Other past presidents on Government Reform: Dick Cheney on other issues:
Former Presidents:
Barack Obama(D,2009-2017)
George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton(D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan(R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter(D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford(R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon(R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson(D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower(R,1953-1961)
Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

Past Vice Presidents:
V.P.Joseph Biden
V.P.Dick Cheney
V.P.Al Gore
V.P.Dan Quayle
Sen.Bob Dole

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Page last updated: Jan 21, 2018