House Republicans Change Committee Names To De-Emphasize Civil Rights, Civil Liberties And Labor

January 10, 2011 2:46 pm ET — Walid Zafar

The new Republican majority says that it wants to reform the way government does business. Much of what it's done so far, however, has been either symbolic or designed not to achieve policy change but to "stick it" to Democrats. This effort includes renaming committees and subcommittees to give them names that more reflect the Republican agenda.

The Committee on Education and Labor is now the Committee on Education and the Workforce. The word labor has been stripped from the title by anti-union Rep. John Kline (R-MN), the chairman of the committee.

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties is now just the Subcommittee on the Constitution. It is chaired by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), an anti-abortion zealot who has asserted that black people were better off under slavery than they are today. He is also one of the fiercest anti-Muslim members of Congress.

In the powerful House Committee on Ways and Means, the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support is now the Subcommittee on Human Resources. The government's job of taking care of the neediest and most vulnerable is now no more than a human resource issue, according to Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI).

Finally, there's the Committee on Foreign Affairs, where Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) has stripped the words global environment from the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. She's also changed the name of the Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. The full committee's first hearing — scheduled for this week but postponed due to this weekend's tragic events — will bash the United Nations.

This is your new House of Representatives, at least until they change its name, too.