Issue One has joined more than a dozen other organizations from across the political spectrum in urging senators to make appropriations mark-ups more accessible to the American people.
Implementing a livestream of video and audio of all legislative mark-ups “would guarantee undiluted press and public access to the proceedings,” states the new letter, which was sent today to Sens. Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“Public and press access to official proceedings are essential to a democracy and the legitimacy of the proceedings,” the continued the letter, which was spearheaded by Demand Progress and co-signed by 17 other organizations.
The Senate Appropriations Committee currently only livestreams the audio of its meetings. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Capitol and congressional hearing rooms are closed to the public, and press access is strictly limited.
As the letter states, broadcasting video and audio of the meetings “is the closest analog for the public and press to follow the proceedings in real time in any way comparable to being there in person.”
This transparency effort comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the consideration of multiple appropriations bills, which must be passed by Sept. 30 to avoid a government shutdown.
Read the full letter here.
The signatories of this letter are as follows:
|Center for Data Innovation
|Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
||Lorelei Kelly, Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown*
||National Security Counselors
|Fix the Court
||National Taxpayers Union
|Free Government Information
||Open The Government
||Project On Government Oversight (POGO)
|Government Accountability Project
|Government Information Watch
||Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
||Taxpayers for Common Sense
* Affiliation listed for identification purposes only