Long live the czars!

(Politico) — Senate Democrats on Thursday knocked down the latest GOP effort to unseat the Obama administration’s policy “czars.”

The chamber voted 47-51 to defeat an amendment from Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) to strip the salaries of czars currently working in the White House and would block the president from appointing more without Senate approval.

Two moderate Democrats — Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Ben Nelson of Nebraska — broke rank to endorse the measure. The GOP was unified in supporting the effort, which was offered as an amendment to legislation aimed at speeding up stalled presidential nominations.

Republicans and conservative media pundits have launched several legislative attempts to unseat the White House policy advisers, accusing the Obama administration of skirting congressional oversight and leaving key decisions in the hands of unelected bureaucrats.