Senate Changes Franking Rules for Web Sites

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Last year, the Open House Project proposed the loosening of rules governing what lawmakers can post to their official web sites. Last week, the Senate Committe on Rules and Administration approved new rules to allow lawmakers to post content from third party sites such as YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, and so on.

The new rules, while not immediately available for public review, appear to be far different from the ones proposed earlier this year. Earlier, Rules and Administration proposed to “keep a list of “approved Web sites” that agreed to provide pages free of advertisements or partisan leanings.”

In contrast to this proposal Republicans on the Committee offered a plan to allow lawmakers to post at their discretion, and in accordance with long-standing standards, with review by the Committee if necessary. The approved plan mirrors the Republican plan.

Kudos to the Senate for taking a step forward by allowing senators to more freely communicate across the Web.

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