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Basking in Deletion of “Civil Rights” and “Labor” from Committees, House Leaders Vow More Name Changes


Rev. David L. Ostendorf • Jan 19, 2011

Leaders of the new House Majority did not slack off during the Christmas break.  In the giving spirit of the season, they generously provided new names to several key Committees.  The Education and Labor Committee was re-christened the Education and Workforce Committee, while the Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties was sliced to the Constitution Subcommittee.  “Word changes, they’re just word changes,” one chuckling wag said.

In an unsent press release found on a back room floor, House leaders stated that “Our intent is to be more inclusive, in the spirit of our new role here.  “Workforce” is a term that embraces all employees, not just those involved in “labor.”  And the Constitution is far more inclusive than the old “civil rights” and “civil liberties” name of the past.  All those old terms are passé now—it’s time to delete them and move forward.”  At their last holiday party where leaders were said to have discussed the press release, “White Christmas” played endlessly in the background.

The Committee name changes have been spectacularly supported across the country.  On the heels of the national discussion and debate on the impact of heated political rhetoric, prompted by the Arizona shootings, House leaders this week announced more name changes that will “more truthfully and inclusively reflect the deep concerns of the House of Representatives for all American interests. We intend to tone things down, narrow the opportunities Committee Members take to push divisive agendas, and to carry out the business that the American people sent us here to do.”

Citing a technological glitch at the press conference announcing the new Committee names, one of the leaders apologized for the endless “White Christmas” background muzak.  The new Committees are:

  • The Committee on Tanking Taxes, formerly known as The Appropriations Committee
  • The Farm Bureau Committee on Agribusiness, formerly known as The Committee on Agriculture
  • The Subcommittee for Big Oil and King Coal, formerly The Subcommittee on Energy and Environment of The House Energy and Commerce Committee
  • The Subcommittee on Deportation and Militarizing Borders, formerly The  Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies of The House Committee on Homeland Security
  • The NRA Subcommittee on Arming America, formerly The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security of The Committee on the Judiciary
  • The Subcommittee for Hospice Care for Obamacare, formerly The Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions of newly-named Committee on Education and the Workforce
  • The Subcommittee for Wall Street Enhancement, formerly The Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee of The Committee on Financial Services
  • The Panel for the Military-Industrial Complex, formerly The Defense Acquisition Reform Panel of The Armed Services Committee
  • The Subcommittee on Global Warming Mythology, formerly The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources of The Natural Resources Committee
  • The Subcommittee on European American Preservation, of the newly-named Subcommittee on the Constitution of The Committee on the Judiciarly

Asked at the press conference about the budget implications of changing Committee names—particularly in light of the estimated $1.27 billion in printing costs to change stationery—House leaders indicated that preliminary plans are to take funds out of the budgets of the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.  “As we said earlier, these Divisions are passé.  We appreciate their work in the past, and their contributions to the new House.”  Strains of “White Christmas” wafted through the air…

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