In a welcome turn toward transparency, House Appropriators are now set to webcast all public hearings starting this week. As late as last week, only 2 of the 10 meetings for this week were scheduled to be online. All committees except Appropriations have webcast the vast majority of their proceedings since the Republican leadership’s passage of a House rule at the start of the 112th Congress requiring webcasting “to the maximum extent practicable.”
Of special note is the webcasting of several proceedings that will take place inside in the Capitol building itself, in room HT-2. This tiny room is often too small to admit all interested members of the public, especially with the large staff entourage that often accompanies testimony by legislative branch agency leadership. (Here’s what it looks like.) C-SPAN does not usually cover the committee’s proceedings, so the only way to see what happens is to go and hope you get in. Whatever issues that had existed with webcasting from this room apparently have been resolved, and a new precedent has been set in favor of transparency.
We’ll be watching.