By David A. Harris, President and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council
I could have sworn that I heard Speaker Boehner repeatedly proclaim that the full-time occupation of the House Republican leadership would be securing jobs for Americans. Since then—and even concurrently—his caucus has taken up time singling out Muslims on the basis of their faith in Rep. King’s recent hearings, and now this, among so many other distractions.
Completely setting aside important constitutional issues, including the Establishment Clause that some like to conveniently forget, should this really be Congress’ highest priority today? Is the House GOP leadership remaining true to its word as GOP-led committees chase down these distractions? Is going another year without officially affirming “In God We Trust” as our national motto really going to hold this country back?
From my parochial (odd word choice, I know) perspective, such a move by the House GOP once again reminds the American Jewish community - like so many other constituencies - how far outside the mainstream today’s Republican Party is, and how far apart this voting block is from the House GOP leadership in particular. The right wing agenda of the Republican House majority simply doesn’t reflect the values and priorities of most American Jews, like so many other Americans. And if the House GOP keeps their eyes fixed firmly on these headline-grabbing priorities - instead of jobs and the economy - they will not remain a majority for long.