Did you enjoy the debate over a doomed bill to enforce pay equity between men and women earlier this month? How about the posturing over raising the absolutely-had-to-be-raised debt ceiling last year? Well there's more stagecraft to come this summer, and this time we get to know about it a little in advance. Think of this as your Capitol Hill Summer Concert Series guide.
Fight One: Obamacare
Dates: Late June to early July. After the Supreme Court rules on Obamacare (and no matter how it rules on Obamacare), House Republicans will spend a whole week voting on the law, Politico's Jake Sherman and Jonathan Allen report.
What they'll be officially outraged about: Obamacare will increase costs and hurt small businesses. House Speaker John Boehner asked his fellow Republicans to stop calling Obamacare "job-killing," Politico reports. The reason? It wasn't polling well. What they'll replace it with packs a much lighter punch: Obamacare is a time-waster. Mitt Romney will say that Obama delayed fixing the economy so he could pass health care reform, the Washington Examiner says. The Republican National Committee has already released an ad making the same claim, saying that Obama promised to "pivot" to jobs but kept getting distracted. The RNC argument bets on not only a large number of Americans knowing what "pivot" means, but what "pivot" means as a bit of political jargon. (It means stop talking about one thing and start talking about a different thing, I think.)
GOP plan they'll offer as an alternative: They're not sure yet. They don't know whether the Supreme Court will uphold the law, strike it all down, or strike down the individual mandate. If the court upholds the law, Rep. Steve King said in a memo to Republicans, claim the decision is like Roe v. Wade. If they strike it down, give the court a thumbs up, King said, according to Politico.
Fight Two: The Federal Reserve
What they'll be officially outraged about: The Federal Reserve: what are those guys up to anyway?
GOP plan they'll offer as an alternative: Republicans will demand an audit of the Federal Reserve, Politico reports. It's a special treat for sad Ron Paul fans., and it will be a smaller drama than the other two fights.
Fight Three: Taxes
Fight schedule: Late July to early August.
What they'll be officially outraged about: The Bush tax cuts are expiring in January, and Obama wants to extend them for all but the highest earners. Democratic Sen. Max Baucus said Monday that some taxes need to be raised to address income inequality, The New York Times reports. Senate Armed Services chair Carl Levin suggested Tuesday that Republicans allow some tax rates to go up to avoid an automatic huge cut to the defense budget. Sen. Jeff Merkley suggested Tuesday that Democrats let all the Bush tax cuts expire, and then pass something to be called the Obama tax cuts.
GOP plan they'll offer as an alternative: Extend all the Bush tax cuts.