July 2, 2014 •
Lawmakers ended a special session shortly after midnight on Wednesday, July 2, 2014. The House and Senate gave approval to a package of bills regarding teacher health insurance premiums, prison overcrowding, and limits on lottery monitor games. Photo of Arkansas […]
Lawmakers ended a special session shortly after midnight on Wednesday, July 2, 2014. The House and Senate gave approval to a package of bills regarding teacher health insurance premiums, prison overcrowding, and limits on lottery monitor games.
Photo of Arkansas State Capitol Building by Stuart Seeger on Wikimedia Commons.
December 19, 2011 •
Adoption of new resolution makes House more open
Friday morning, the Committee on House Administration unanimously adopted “Standards for the Electronic Posting of House and Committee Documents & Data.” Beginning on January 1st, this will allow anyone with access to the internet to now have access to all House bills, amendments, and resolutions for floor consideration. The documents will be formatted in XML schema maintained at http://xml.house.gov.
According to a post on the Sunlight Foundation’s blog, committees will also be encouraged to post their documents on that site in XML whenever possible — and searchable PDFs when not — with the expectation that mandatory publication requirements in XML will soon be imposed. The House will also store video of hearings and markups, and work to implement standards “that require documents to be electronically published in open data formats that are machine readable,” thereby enabling transparency and public review.
The new standards document can be read here.
July 7, 2011 •
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have posted letters between themselves, the president, and their colleagues onto Facebook.
As the federal government is utilizing the internet in more and more ways to connect with the public, members of the U.S. House of Representatives are following suit by displaying official letters between themselves, President Obama, and other colleagues on Facebook.
Such House members such as Pete Olson from Texas, Cathy McMorris Rodgers from Washington, and Justin Amash from Michigan have posted letters sharing their concern about actions committed by Senator John Rockefeller of West Virginia, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, and President Obama.
June 28, 2011 •
Security concerns have been worked out.
After months of asking to be able to use video conferencing services like Skype and ooVoo, U.S. House members have been given the green light to use it.
The benefits are clear – representatives and their staff can have a greater connection to their constituents and to each other. It would be a real money-saver.
The risks were also clear – using the service and placing all those cameras in the offices could lead to unauthorized use and security leaks. Apparently the security issues have been worked out and – with a set of rules – members may use Skype and ooVoo.
For more on this news, you can read “House enables use of Skype, video teleconferencing for members” by Debbie Siegelbaum in The Hill.
Here is another article in Politico: “House allows members to Skype” by Kim Hart.
May 3, 2011 •
The U.S. House Committee on Ethics has chosen a new staff director.
According to a Politico article by John Bresnahan: “Daniel Schwager, a lawyer on the Senate Ethics Committee, was approved by the House panel in a bipartisan vote Monday to take over the super-sensitive post, which had been vacant since January.”
Photo of the U.S. Capitol Rotunda by UpstateNYer on Wikipedia.
July 7, 2010 •
A bill amending the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 and the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 has passed the House of Representatives.
H.R. 5609, which passed on a vote of 408-4, prohibits any registered lobbyist whose clients include foreign governments which are found to be sponsors of international terrorism or include other foreign nationals from making contributions and other campaign-related disbursements in elections for public office. The bill moves to the Senate.
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