With the Republicans poised to retake majority control of the House of Representatives following Tuesday's midterm elections, the presumptive chairman of the Rules Committee, Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., is setting a new standard of transparency for his committee's hearings.
In a letter addressed to the House chief administrative officer Dan Strodel, Dreier ordered that video cameras be installed in the hearing room so citizens can keep an eye on Congress.
"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," Dreier wrote. According to The Hill, the personal letter emphasized the GOP's interest in "genuine openness and transparency." Currently, the Rules Committee hearing room is one of only three without cameras -- the others being the ethics and Intelligence committee rooms.
As the ranking Republican on the committee, Dreier initially went public with his request during the heated debate over health care this past spring. “We’ve been asking for months for cameras to be installed in the Rules Committee hearing room and now the American people understand why it’s so necessary,” Dreier said at the time.
With Democrats' health care overhaul plan now the law of the land, the GOP is looking to set a new example for government accountability. "The Rules Committee is being used to manipulate the process to avoid accountability and transparency," Dreier noted in March. "If the Majority is going to insist on hiding votes on bills behind rules, the least they could do is let the American people watch the action.”