House Oversights - Week Of November 13

November 18, 2011 11:31 am ET — Media Matters Action Network

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

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the powerful House Oversight Committee, is engaged in an epic intra-party struggle against Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Smith has been pushing for the passage of his Stop Online Piracy Act, which would expand federal authority to shut down and censor the Internet. Issa told The Hill Thursday that the bill is "too extreme" and doesn't "have any chance" of passage in the House.

Homeland Security Committee Chairman Pete King (R-NY) took right-wing revulsion of the Occupy Wall Street movement to new levels this week when he told Bloomberg Television that the protestors are "losers" who "were living in dirt...were involved with drugs, there was violence, there was rape."

Issa has proposed a bill that would finally allow the District of Columbia much greater freedom and autonomy by relinquishing most congressional control of the district's budget. The bill, of course, comes with a catch so significant that PoliticsUSA is calling it "blackmail": The District would not be allowed to spend public funds to pay for abortions for low-income women.

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), the Oversight Committee Republican who infamously attacked consumer protection advocate Elizabeth Warren (now a 2012 candidate for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts), is facing a challenger to his re-election next  year. Asheville, NC mayor Terry Bellamy (D) has decided to run against McHenry, who faced angry constituents in a series of town hall appearances earlier this year.