Congressional Republicans haven't gotten around to working on a credible jobs bill yet, but it's only because they're so busy with other issues. GOP policymakers clearly care quite a bit, for example, about restricting abortion rights and inveighing against contraception access.
But don't worry, Republicans on Capitol Hill are also engaging on other issues -- such as promoting English as the official language.
[Rep. Steve King of Iowa] announced that a Judiciary Committee hearing on the Official English Act, legislation that King has championed since 2003 when he was sworn into Congress, will be held next week.
"The Judiciary Committee hearing next week reflects the need to get a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives on this popular issue -- 87 percent of Americans say that English should be the official language of the United States," King said in a press release.
The Official English Act, H.R. 997, would make English the official language of the United States -- something that the U.S. currently does not have -- requires the federal government to encourage individuals to learn English, requires all functions of the government be conducted in English and establishes a language requirement for people to become naturalized citizens.
So much for "jobs, jobs, jobs."
On the substance, it's worth emphasizing how wildly unnecessary this is. As I've talked about before, there may be some older immigrants who are reluctant to learn English, but being in the United States, their kids and grandkids have no similar reluctance. This is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
But as a political matter, this is just inexplicable. Not only are Republicans still ignoring the jobs crisis, but they're also deliberately antagonizing Latino voters three months before an election. Worse, they're doing so this morning with a subcommittee hearing featuring a Republican witness with ties to racism.
For the record, King's proposal has 122 co-sponsors in the House -- 118 of them are Republicans.