Livescore Sunday, May 19
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By any fair measure, Congress is facing a daunting to-do list. Without prompt action from lawmakers, for example, Republicans will have allowed Russia to take part of eastern Europe by force.

But that’s just the start. Members also have work to do on providing funding to repair the Key Bridge in Baltimore, reauthorizing the soon-to-expire Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), deciding what to do with a child tax credit expansion, completing work on a possible TikTok bill, reauthorizing the FAA, finishing work on a rail-safety bill, and wrapping up work on the impeachment case against the Homeland Security secretary.

But it’s against this backdrop that the GOP-led House Rules Committee — which tends to be the last stop for bills before they reach the House floor for final votes — unveiled its schedule for next week. These are the actual bills — I’m not kidding — that the panel will take up on Monday and sent to the floor for consideration from the full House.

  • H.R. 6192 — Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act

  • H.R. 7673 — Liberty in Laundry Act

  • H.R. 7645 — Clothes Dryers Reliability Act

  • H.R. 7637 — Refrigerator Freedom Act

  • H.R. 7626 — Affordable Air Conditioning Act

  • H.R. 7700 — Stop Unaffordable Dishwasher Standards Act

As Democratic Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia wrote via social media, in reference to the list of bills, “This is real. This is actually what Republicans are preparing to spend next week on in the House. Really.”

At this point, readers might be wondering why in the world the hapless House Republican majority is poised to tackle a half-dozen pieces of legislation related to home appliances. There are, broadly speaking, two parts to the answer.

A PunchBowl News report helped summarize the first part nicely: “These are all part of the Republican culture war clash over energy efficiency and climate change. It’s similar to the gas stove hysteria or Trump’s war on low-flush toilets and light bulbs.“

Quite right. GOP lawmakers know that these home-appliance-related bills aren’t going anywhere in the Democratic-led Senate, but they don’t care. They want to be able to tell the far-right Republican base that they’re on Capitol Hill, fighting tooth and nail in support of pointless messaging bills that combat energy conservation standards on clothes washers.

And clothes dryers. And refrigerators. And dishwashers. And air conditioners.

But the other part of the problem is while Republicans realize they have real work to do on everything from national security to infrastructure to tax policy, but that work (a) is difficult; (b) requires real legislative work; and (c) necessitates meaningful, bipartisan solutions.

House GOP members tend not to like rolling up their sleeves and doing the unglamorous work of solving problems. It’s far more satisfying and entertaining to tee up the “Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act” — which will no doubt make for delightful fundraising letters and several Fox News segments — while real priorities in need of Republicans’ attention wither.

This article was originally published on MSNBC.com



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