The AP has a good article up taking a look at the recent agenda items in Congress:
With votes this week on gay marriage, stem cell research and the Pledge of Allegiance, the Republican-controlled Congress is systematically working through an agenda of conservative causes, eager to mobilize hard-core voters in the months before the midterm elections.
The votes are part of an “American Values Agenda” designed by House Republican leaders to distinguish GOP lawmakers on social issues that are heartfelt by a small but active segment of the Republican electorate. Those voters will be crucial this year when turnout is expected to be low and when Republicans are facing a headwind of public antipathy.
As expected, the House on Tuesday failed to pass a constitutional amendment that would let Congress ban gay marriages. The 236-187 vote in favor of the constitutional change fell short of the necessary two-thirds majority.
Republicans in the Senate were unable to block legislation Tuesday that would expand federally funded research of human embryonic stem cell lines, a step vigorously opposed by social conservatives. The House passed the same bill last year. But the legislation faces a certain veto from President Bush and the majorities in the House and Senate are not large enough to override him.
In a nod to conservatives, congressional leaders permitted votes on bills that would encourage scientists to find alternatives to embryonic stem cells and to prohibit inducing pregnancies to obtain stem cells from an embryo. Both those measures passed the Senate on Tuesday. In the House, the latter measure passed, but the first bill failed.
With the Republicans facing an uphill battle this fall, they are turning the country into a theocracy. They are pandering to the small percentage of their base, only because that is the portion that generates the most votes. This shows that Republicans care only about themselves and not the nation as a whole.