At one point on Wednesday morning 163 people were watching a live webcast of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee’s budget hearing on the Library of Congress.
That’s about 160 more than would have been allowed through the doors if they had tried to go in person.
Room HT-2 in the Capitol, where the hearing was held, is barely large enough to hold members of Congress, witnesses, and their respective staffs, let alone more than a few members of the public. Sunlight’s Daniel Schuman was one of only 3 members of the public to gain access to the room at last year’s hearing.
The Legislative branch subcommittee held two days of hearings this week. They have already been covered by numerous news outlets and, since they concluded, more than 550 people have accessed the archived videos.
Earlier this week we applauded the Appropriations Committee for moving to broadcast more of their hearings live on the web, calling it “a new precedent…in favor of transparency.”
We plan to monitor the Appropriations committee to see if they continue to webcast their hearings and provide this easy way for the American public to access their proceedings.