The congressional to-do list is daunting. There's a very real possibility of a government shutdown in two weeks, and a debt-ceiling deadline looms a few weeks after that. As if that weren't enough, lawmakers need to tackle a farm bill, immigration reform, and a fix to the Voting Rights Act, all while a national security crisis in Syria lingers.
Complicating matters, the House is only scheduled to be in session for five days between now and the end of the month.
So how did the Republican-led chamber spend their afternoon yesterday -- the last work day before another four-day weekend they scheduled for themselves? As Rachel noted on the show last night, GOP lawmakers voted for the 41st time to gut the Affordable Care Act.
Joan McCarter summarized the proposal nicely.
In case you care what this one would do, it would stop people from getting subsidies on the health insurance exchanges until the income verification process that is already in the law is replaced with some other income verification process that probably involves elves doing the work in the dead of night. Or maybe unicorns.But hey, it's a vote that House Speaker John Boehner could be assured of "winning," so there's that.
House Republicans know the bill won't pass the Senate. They also know it won't be signed into law by President Obama. And they know they have all kinds of real work that desperately needs to get done.
But they can't help themselves.
Their irrational, wild-eyed hatred of "Obamacare" has become all consuming, GOP lawmakers can apparently think of little else. Real work is pushed to the backburner so symbolic "message" votes like these can make the right feel better about itself.
Indeed, as we'll talk about a little later this morning, it's this mindless contempt for the moderate health care law that's become all-consuming for congressional Republicans -- it's why a government shutdown is increasingly likely and why the GOP may very well trash the full faith and credit of the United States next month for the first time in American history.
"Obamacare," in other word, has pushed Republicans to madness, for no legitimate reason.
If voters paid closer attention, and bothered to show up during midterm elections, Republicans would be in quite a bit of trouble right about now, wouldn't they?