Congressman Ami Bera Introduces Resolution to Keep House Cameras Operating and Non-Partisan | Congressman Ami Bera

Congressman Ami Bera Introduces Resolution to Keep House Cameras Operating and Non-Partisan

Jul 6, 2016
Press Release
Speaker Ryan Cut Off House Cameras during Historic Sit-In by Democratic Members | Bera’s Bill to Keep Cameras on Anytime a Member is Present On the Floor

Washington, DC – Congressman Ami Bera (CA-7) announced that he has introduced a resolution to allow independent cameras to record House floor proceedings after cameras were turned off by Speaker Ryan two weeks ago during the Democratic sit-in. Despite repeated requests from the press, House rules prohibit all outside video cameras and provide complete discretion to the Speaker on when to operate cameras. Bera’s resolution is endorsed by the Sunlight Foundation, Public Citizen, and Common Cause.

“Controlling what the public can see based on whom is speaking and what is being said runs counter to our principles as a country. I believe the government works best when the public can see their elected representatives discussing the nation’s issues, no matter their politics or position. Allowing independent, non-partisan cameras is critical for transparency and is an important tool to hold elected officials accountable,” said Congressman Bera.

"The public deserve a nonpartisan source for real-time video of activities in the House of Representatives. While access to video has generally been reliable, House leadership under both parties have failed to guarantee access to activities that sometimes matter the most – like activities on the floor that fall outside normal procedures. This bill would end the ambiguity of whether unofficial floor activities should be available by video,” said John Wonderlich, Executive Director of the Sunlight Foundation.

"Public trust in our governmental institutions is at an all-time low. Congress must work toward regaining that trust by operating as transparently as practical. This legislation is a significant step toward that transparency,” said Craig Holman of Public Citizen.

“Common Cause commends Representative Bera for introducing a resolution to ensure that the American public will be able to view proceedings in the House of Representatives at all times. Americans of all political parties deserve to see our democracy in action on the floor of the House of Representatives no matter which party is in the majority,” said Aaron Scherb, Director of Legislative Affairs at Common Cause.