Senator Christopher Dodd (D, CT) has indicated he will seek a legal opinion on the recess appointment of Sam “Swift Boat Liar” Fox to be Ambassador to
Fox would serve in a voluntary capacity, without pay, but there are legal questions about the interpretation of the law the way the Bush White House reads it.
In the White House interpretation of the law, Fox could serve as ambassador voluntarily, so long as he agreed not to sue the government later for not being compensated for his services.
But there is a catch…
Under federal law, “voluntary service” is prohibited when the position in question has a fixed rate of pay – and ambassadorships have a fixed pay rate. The salary is a “statutory entitlement” and therefore unwaivable. That is how the Government Accountability Office, an arm of Congress, interprets the law.
Look for this to be a major issue when an angry congress returns to session next week.
This appears to be far from over.