C-SPAN Challenges Congress to Open Health Care Talks to TV Coverage

The head of C-SPAN has implored Congress to open up the last leg of health care reform negotiations to the public, as top Democrats lay plans to hash out the final product among themselves.

FoxNews.com
January 5, 2010

The head of C-SPAN has implored Congress to open up the last leg of health care reform negotiations to the public, as top Democrats lay plans to hash out the final product among themselves.

C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb wrote to leaders in the House and Senate Dec. 30 urging them to open “all important negotiations, including any conference committee meetings,” to televised coverage on his network.

“The C-SPAN networks will commit the necessary resources to covering all of the sessions LIVE and in their entirety,” he wrote.

In a Tuesday afternoon press conference on health legislation negotiations, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared to object to the premise behind the request.

“There has never been a more open process for any legislation in anyone who’s served here’s experience,” she said.

However, Republican leaders sided with C-SPAN’s calls for transparency.

“As House Republican leader, I can confidently state that all House Republicans strongly endorse your proposal and stand ready to work with you to make it a reality,” Minority Leader John Boehner wrote in response to the letter. “Hard-working families won’t stand for having the future of their health care decided behind closed doors. These secret deliberations are a breeding ground for more of the kickbacks, shady deals and special-interest provisions that have become business as usual in Washington.”…

…Sen. Barack Obama first pledged opening up legislative negotiations to C-SPAN cameras during a Democratic presidential primary debate with Sen. Hillary Clinton in Los Angeles on Jan. 31, 2008…

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