I have to confess I’m not an expert on American government but even I know that the office of the Vice President—like that of the President—is part of the EXECUTIVE Branch. You see, I know this because I had to go to night school to study for the Maryland Citizenship Test, which I had to pass in order to graduate high school. But now I, like Robin, am a little confused.
Why am I confused? Well, according to our sitting Vice President, the Office of the Vice President is not “an entity within the EXECUTIVE branch” and so is not subject to the same reporting and accountability requirements as other government offices. This argument rests on the fact that the office is unique because it entails both EXECUTIVE and legislative duties (e.g., the Vice President can cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate [thank you very much Maryland Citizenship night school!!]). However, the oversight office of the National Archives, which was actually acting under an executive order updated by President Bush in 2003, had requested only documents pertaining to the EXECUTIVE work of the Vice President’s office—this particularly inquisitive agency of the National Archives nearly got itself abolished for its trouble!!!
But let’s not split hairs.
As a simple citizen with little knowledge of semantics or legalese, I have only one question. If the office of the Vice President is not part of the EXECUTIVE Branch, then why is it located in the Eisenhower EXECUTIVE Office Building, which “house[s] various agencies that comprise the EXECUTIVE Office of the President, such as the Office of the Vice President . . .”?
Maybe it’s time for the Vice President to go to night school.