Inappropriate Behavior?

House Rule XI (g)(5) provides

(5) To the maximum extent practicable, each committee shall— 
(A) provide audio and video coverage of each hearing or meeting for the transaction of business in a manner that allows the public to easily listen to and view the proceedings; and 
(B) maintain the recordings of such coverage in a manner that is easily accessible to the public.

Daniel Schuman of the Sunlight Foundation points out, however, that the Legislative Branch Subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations holds most of its hearings in a small hearing room in the Capitol (HT-2) that does not have a pre-positioned camera and apparently these proceedings have not typically been broadcast or recorded. Thus, for example, the public will not be able to view tomorrow’s hearing on the Library of Congress, the GAO, the Public Printer and the CBO.

As Schuman notes, it would be very “practicable” for the Appropriations Committee either to move the hearing to one of several available hearing rooms that have a camera or to request that the House Recording Studio provide one in HT-2. While admittedly tomorrow’s hearing is not exactly the half-time show at the Superbowl, the House Rules admit of no exception, even for “really boring” agencies.

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