Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) on Tuesday filed an amendment to the House Rules Committee, allowing C-SPAN to broadcast regular floor proceedings.
Americans deserve to know when we are frustrated, kind, present, or absent. The current pool view of the Congress is antiquated.
My amendment will allow @CSPAN cameras on the House floor — bringing greater transparency and humanizing the entire process.https://t.co/O6GCKovTsU
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) January 10, 2023
C-SPAN was reportedly given special permission to record the Speaker vote proceedings, and according to Gaetz, the transparency was wildly popular with his constituents.
“I’ve received a lot of feedback from constituents about how interesting it was and that you were able to see in real time how our government is functioning, what alliances are being created, what discussions are being had, what animated moments drive the action,” Gaetz told Fox News. “And the pool view of the Congress is antiquated and a little boomer-fied.”
“I have talked to a handful of colleagues and I have yet to encounter one who didn’t view the broader transparency as a net positive,” Gaetz added.
According to Fox, “support has been mounting for C-SPAN to permanently adopt the approach it took last week to Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s contentious speaker election, in which it freely roamed the House floor and captured dramatic moments that don’t often see air time.” Typically, the House Recording Studio controls cameras that are fixed on the dais. That footage is then used by C-SPAN.
“It’s interesting to see how our leaders communicate with one another, and it’s humanizing,” Gaetz argued. “I had constituents reach out to me about a friendly chat that the country observed me having with [Democratic Rep.] Sheila Jackson Lee. And while Sheila and I certainly have had very high-octane moments in the House Judiciary Committee, and while neither one of us like to give an inch when it comes to effective argumentation, I’ve also found her to be a warm person interpersonally.”
“And you know of people observed me having conversations with [Democratic Rep.] Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former head of the Democratic Party,” he continued. “So, there are moments of bipartisanship and collegiality that occur every day. And the country doesn’t get to see those.”
In a letter to Speaker McCarthy Tuesday, C-SPAN also requested that its cameras be allowed in the U.S. House chamber for greater transparency of House floor proceedings.
C-SPAN does not control cameras in the House.
READ: C-SPAN letter to Speaker McCarthy requesting our cameras be allowed into the House Chamber. https://t.co/wvf1aHcG3r
MORE Letters Requesting Greater Transparency https://t.co/5ANsfjYLVz pic.twitter.com/5YM2eVQFrQ
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 10, 2023