• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Senators Want Joint Committee's Meetings Aired on TV, Open to Public

    A half-dozen Republicans are lobbying Senate leaders to make the newly created Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction transparent in its operations and accessible to the American public. Their proposal includes public attendance at meetings and live television broadcasts.

    In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the six Republicans ask the leaders to “allow this process to unfold before the American people through an open debate.” The effort was spearheaded by Sen. Dean Heller (NV) with the backing of Sens. Kelly Ayotte (NH), John Boozman (AR), Ron Johnson (WI), Mike Lee (UT) and David Vitter (LA). Of the six, only Boozman supported the Budget Control Act.

    “As we understand it, this Committee essentially has the ability to craft their list of recommendations without any joint committee jurisdictions and without an open committee process,” the senators wrote. “Furthermore, these recommendations are not subject to debate or an amendment process afforded the majority of legislation considered in the Senate.”

    In addition to making the meetings open to the public and televised, the GOP senators want a strict definition of what constitutes a meeting. They propose any time a quorum of committee members meet — in person or over the phone — the public should be notified.

    The senators have yet to hear back from leadership. The letter, a copy of which is below, was delivered to Reid and McConnell yesterday.

    The news follows recommendations from the Sunlight Foundation on five ways to make the new committee transparent. A group of GOP senators has also introduced legislation, the Budget Control John Committee Transparency Act (S. 1501), which would shine light on the process. Vitter has another bill, the Super Committee Sunshine Act, to require members of the new committee to disclose campaign donations.

    Letter on Transparency Measures for Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Senators Want Joint Committee's Meetings Aired on TV, Open to Public

    1. Dean Adams says:

      I view this as a potential first step to destroy the constitution. Congress has no authority to form such a powerful committee; one that can evolve into a Soviet type bureau.

      It must be reversed and hopefully the Supreme Court will find it unconstitutional.

    2. Dean Adams says:

      I view this as a potential first step to destroy the constitution. Congress has no authority to form such a powerful committee

    3. Bobbie says:

      this is a fantastic idea! We'll be able to see what Harry Reid's accusations of his fellow members, are all about? And Nancy Pelosi's and…
      After all, the government should have nothing to hide from those they serve and are paid by.

    4. Once again, you fail to mention that the revenue increases will be on millionairs, billionairs, and big corporations. The so called "job creators". Those same people are already sitting on plenty of cash. They are not using it to create jobs. Instead, take money from social security and medicare.
      Buy all means, have an open discussion about this. And while your at it, you can explain you recent acts of terrorism.

      • Bobbie says:

        How do you figure? It's what you were told to say? Paid protester? if not you should listen more then what you're listening to.

        if business owners could gain some confidence the government's abuse of power continues to break by burden and regulation, they would establish more jobs. This is a set up to make sheep frenzied while lacking consideration of the realm of facts that are truly holding this country back!

    5. Sunny A. says:

      I support this grand idea. (Open Meetings Aired on TV) When the camera (not edited) is on maybe these folks will actually be held accountable. This way the Democrats – Rino's can't hide behind their close door meetings they are so famous for. Let the American people see how devious those folks really are and things will truly be more transparent when caught on camera and put on record. This includes all parties involved.
      However I am skeptical about this and all these Committees.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×