The House’s misplaced priorities


With Congress’ approval rating reaching depths unseen since the dawn of modern polling, self-interested lawmakers should probably focus at least some of their attention on addressing actual problems.

House Republicans apparently disagree. In 2010, the GOP majority invested considerable energy in tackling imaginary threats (killing farm-dust regulations, protecting the “In God We Trust” motto); picking unnecessary culture-war fights (restricting abortion rights, going after NPR); and pursing right-wing measures that couldn’t become law (replacing Medicare with a voucher scheme).

It appears 2012 will feature more of the same. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), for example, is having some success pushing the “English Language Unity Act of 2011.”

Spurred by Republicans running for the White House, GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill are moving closer to a vote that would make English the official language of the United States. […]

King’s bill, which has 106 co-sponsors, including Democratic Reps. Jason Altmire (Pa.) and Mike McIntyre (N.C.), would require official functions of the United States to be conducted in English. It would also establish the English language as a requirement for naturalization.

There were, no doubt, millions of voters who backed Republican congressional candidates in 2010, hoping to see Washington focus more on job creation and economic growth. The “where are the jobs?” mantra, for example, was ubiquitous for quite a while.

But those voters clearly got more than they bargained for, with a House GOP majority that seems eager to focus on everything except jobs and the economy.

Steve King

The House's misplaced priorities