C-SPAN, the public service channel dedicated to covering government affairs, is asking Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to consider amending House rules to allow for its cameras and journalists to cover floor proceedings freely.
In a letter to the Speaker on Tuesday, C-SPAN CEO Susan Swain asked McCarthy for permission to “cover floor proceedings on behalf of our network and all Congressionally-accredited news organizations.”
The networks was able to provide rare full coverage of the House floor last week while lawmakers debated electing a Speaker, with video clips from the channel’s coverage going viral on Twitter and sparking jokes about the unprecedented access given to the press with no House rules in place.
“We do not propose replacing the existing House Recording System or its output. Instead, we request to install a few additional cameras in the House chamber,” Swain wrote. “When mixed with the existing House production, shots from our cameras would allow us to create a second, journalistic product, just as we did last week.”
It is standard procedure for C-SPAN to air congressional proceedings and public affairs events from House-, Senate- and other government-operated cameras, which are controlled by the party in the majority. In the House, that traditionally means a single shot, aimed at the well and rostrum.
Several lawmakers have voiced support for the idea of allowing C-SPAN to retain control of the cameras in the House chamber, including Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who called the current pool view of the Congress “antiquated and a little boomer-fied,” this week.