Dave Weigel has a good piece up at Slate about how the Republicans are governing by basically sitting around and not doing anything:
The answer: They are taking an approach to legislating completely antithetical to what President Obama proposed in his State of the Union speech. They don’t want Congress to “do big things.” Government, in general, should not do big things.
This week’s House schedule provides an excellent example of this do-nothing approach. There are four non-controversial bills up on Tuesday and Wednesday: another USA PATRIOT Act extension (through 8 December), a trade extension bill, a bill to return money overpaid to the UN, and finally, a bill to name an under-construction Arizona courthouse after John Roll, the judge murdered in last month’s Tucson shootings. (I will note that only the first and last of these bills are actually available to the public.) Then all of Thursday and Friday are set aside for consideration of the incredibly exciting H. Res. __, “a resolution directing certain standing committees to inventory and review existing, pending, and proposed regulations and orders from agencies of the Federal Government, particularly with respect to their effect on jobs and economic growth.” Substantively, this is an utter waste of time. I really don’t think the chairmen of various House committees need to be formally instructed to hold oversight hearings. They’re going to do that on their own.
So on the floor of the House this week, I expect two days full of Republicans complaining about how Big Government is the Great Evil. I don’t know what Democrats are going to be saying. It’s hard to really come up with a good opposition line to something this vapid. It’ll probably be far more interesting to watch the House Judiciary Committee markup of H.R. 5, the Medical Liability bill, scheduled for 10 AM EST Wednesday. Or Tuesday afternoon’s Constitution Subcommittee hearing on H.R. 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”, if you really feel like throwing up.