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C-SPAN Chief Asks for Open Health Care Negotiations

cspanhealth_1-5.jpgIn a letter dated December 30th and addressed to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Harry Reid, Rep. John Boehner, and Sen. Mitch McConnell, C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb has asked congress to open negotiations of the health care legislation to his networks’ cameras:

Now that the process moves to the critical stage of reconciliation between the Chambers, we respectfully request that you allow the public full access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single American.

Full letter available here and after the jump.

Update: WH Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about the letter at today’s briefing and said he hadn’t seen it. Boehner has backed the request. FishbowlDC has more.


December 30, 2009

Dear Speaker Pelosi:
Representative Boehner:
Senator Reid:
Senator McConnell:

As your respective chambers work to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate health care bills, C-SPAN requests that you open all important negotiations, including any conference committee meetings, to electronic media coverage.

The C-SPAN networks will commit the necessary resources to covering all of these sessions LIVE and in their entirety. We will also, as we willingly do each day, provide C-SPAN’s multi-camera coverage to any interested member of the Capitol Hill broadcast pool.

Since the initial introduction of the America’s Affordable Health Care Act of 2009 in the House and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the Senate C-SPAN has televised literally hundreds of hours of committee hearings, mark ups and floor debate on these bills for the public to see. And importantly, we have archived all of this video for future generations to study in the C-SPAN Video Archives.

President Obama, Senate and House leaders, many of your rank-and-file members, and the nation’s editorial pages have all talked about the value of transparent discussions on reforming the nation’s health care system. Now that the process moves to the critical stage of reconciliation between the Chambers, we respectfully request that you allow the public full access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single American.

We hope you will give serious consideration to this request. We are most willing to employ the latest digital technology to make the cameras, lights and microphones as unobtrusive as possible.

Please contact me if I can answer any questions.

Sincerely,

Brian Lamb

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