In a new Right Wing Watch: In Focus report, People For the American Way profiles the House Republicans slated to take important party and committee leadership positions in the 112th Congress. The incoming leaders and chairmen profiled share a fealty to corporate America, eagerness to please the Religious Right, and, often, antipathy toward the core purposes of the committees they’re set to head.
The report, “Meet the Leadership: Corporate America and the Religious Right’s New Team in the House”, profiles 15 incoming House leaders. In addition to Speaker-to-be John Boehner, famous for passing out checks from tobacco lobbyists on the House floor, the incoming party, caucus, and committee leaders include:
- Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, whose Pledge to America, crafted with the help of a former Exxon lobbyist, made so many unpaid-for tax cut and spending promises that one conservative blogger called it “the most ridiculous thing to come out of Washington since George McClellan”;
- Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, whose skill with earmarks and eagerness to direct federal funds to friends, relatives, and unqualified district businesses led a home-state paper to dub him the “Prince of Pork”:
- Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa, who plans to double the size of his committee’s staff in order to launch conspiracy-theory-driven investigations of climate scientists, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau architect Elizabeth Warren, ACORN, the Justice Department’s handling of the New Black Panther Party case, and, of course, the Obama White House;
- Budget Committee Chairman and new right-wing darling Paul Ryan, whose “Roadmap For America’s Future” calls for eliminating and privatizing social safety net programs and increasing the tax burden on lower- and middle-class families while handing big tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy;
- Science and Technology Chairman Ralph Hall, who believes that the science of climate change has been “manipulated, enhanced or deleted”;
- Steve King, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, who has compared undocumented immigrants to “livestock,” agreed with a conspiracy theory about President Obama “bringing small quantities of Muslims into this country,” and called Joseph McCarthy a “hero”;
- and Michele Bachmann, chairwoman of the new Tea Party Caucus, whose antipathy toward gays and lesbians, the science of evolution, the U.S. Census, and President Obama hasn’t stopped conservatives ranging from Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to Glenn Beck sidekick David Barton from agreeing to teach classes in her new seminar on the Constitution.
The full report can be found online at: https://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/meet-the-leadership-corporate-america-and-the-religious-right-s-new-team-the-house