The czars – all of them – are dead in the House of Representatives. Even though every "czar" position in government had already been vacated, the House passed a spending bill that officially eliminated the role and forbids the White House from naming more. In some cases, automotive and banking bailouts and executive pay especially, the czar himself was as polarizing as the job he had to do, and the enduring, transformative effects of their work can explain why politicians might target them.

However, just in case you hear of the role again or you read about a policy head who's a czar in all but name (and assuming the Senate passes the bill), you should know that you can't really get rid of all the czars since there's no precise definition of one. Most "czars" get that moniker from journalists even though they have proper, long-form titles. And if you take the position that a czar is an appointee who hasn't been confirmed by the Senate, then czars go all the way back to Woodrow Wilson and World War I, and all but five presidents since then have had czars in their administrations.

The vote eliminated nine of the 33 positions that fit that latter definition, the beloved empty seat of our former car czars being one of them. We have a feeling at least one of those czars will be making news for a while, though – Ron Bloom's been pretty quiet, but it looks like Steven Ratter still has a few things to get off his chest...

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