House Oversights - Week of October 30

November 04, 2011 11:45 am ET — Media Matters Action Network

A weekly roundup of what House Republicans are and aren't doing with their committees.

Ranking Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, Reps. John Conyers (MI) and Jerrold Nadler (NY), are calling for hearings to investigate a slew of voter suppression laws sweeping the country as the 2012 election cycle kicks into gear. The Democrats wrote a letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) asking for the opportunity to look into the matter further.

The ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson (MS), fired a shot at committee chairman Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) leadership: "With just 15 legislative days remaining in the first session of this Congress, I have trouble seeing how we escape the moniker of a 'do nothing committee.'"

In an interview with Meet the Press' David Gregory, Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) compared the positions of GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, who faces revelations that several women accused him of sexual harassment while he was in a leadership position with the National Restaurant Association, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who infamously battled harassment accusations during his confirmation process. Issa falsely claimed that Cain's accusers are "anonymous" and argued that "the American people know that Clarence Thomas was substantially wrongly accused, and history has borne that out."

A bill requiring employers to verify the immigration status of hires through the E-Verify system, which Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) pushed through the Judiciary Committee in September, is in trouble in the GOP-dominated House. The Hill reports that the bill, which is supported by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, is opposed by Democrats and at least two dozen Republican representatives.