The Corner

Rules Committee Gets Ready for its Close-Up

I’ve been passed along this letter to the House’s administrator from the once-and-future House Rules Committee chair Rep. David Dreier (R., Calif.),  requesting that work begin immediately on the installation of cameras in the committee’s hearing room. From the letter:

“As you may be aware, the Committee on Rules is the only Committee — other than the Intelligence and Ethics committees — which does not have the ability to broadcast video of its proceedings in its main hearing room. Given the important nature of our work, my Republican Rules Committee colleagues and I have repeatedly requested that the Majority undertake the installation of cameras in the Rules Committee hearing room to the end that we begin webcasting our proceedings.  Given the important business conducted there, we feel strongly that the American people should have the ability to watch the Committee in action.” 

You can read the rest of it here.

Dreier has for some time called for the proceedings of the Rules Committee to be videotaped. I count myself among those who don’t think the C-SPAN era has been an unalloyed good for democracy (I don’t favor cameras in SCOTUS, for instance.) But considering Nancy Pelosi’s 111th was likely the first in history to pass every single piece of legislation under a “closed rule,” I certainly think the process is wanting for transparency.


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