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  • Simple Steps for Super Committee Transparency

    Roll Call carries op-eds today from the Ripon Society and Heritage debating the merits of Super Committee transparency. Ripon’s Lou Zickar thinks the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction would benefit from privacy. I argue that’s exactly the wrong approach for the most powerful committee in congressional history.

    As the Joint Committee prepares for its first hearing tomorrow with Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf, they should ensure the American people are part of the conservation. After all, this debate and discourse is exactly what lawmakers need to hear to make an educated decision.

    Here’s an excerpt from my op-ed:

    The rules adopted by the committee last week are an encouraging start, but as lawmakers demonstrate far too often, rules are frequently broken.

    Even at the first hearing, Co-Chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) made a point of telling her colleagues, “The use of the term meeting in these rules is the same traditional meaning as used in both houses and does not include less formal caucuses or working sessions that would not be covered by either the House or Senate rules in the normal ordinary course.”

    No one is suggesting Murray must broadcast every private discussion to the public.

    But when members of the committee are present, drafting legislation and discussing the people’s business, they should do it in the open.

    Open meetings are a hallmark of American democracy. From town councils to state legislatures to Congress, it’s essential for citizens to have access to their government and observe what’s happening.

    Technology has made access even more readily available today than just a few years ago.

    Citizens don’t have to be in Washington, D.C., to watch witnesses testify on Capitol Hill. They can watch Congress debate public policy issues from their family room or the coffee shop.

    Posted in Featured, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to Simple Steps for Super Committee Transparency

    1. John Tithof says:


    2. Del in Virginia says:

      This "Super Congress" is so wrong on so many points that whether or not its dealings are open to public scrutiny or not misses the point. It is not just destined to fail, I believe it is intended to fail so that the automatic program kicks in and absolves everybody of personal responsibility in this matter.

      This "Super Congress" must be dissolved and we go back to debating and legislating on the floors of the congress. I think it was appropriately stated that when you put lipstick on a pig, it is still a pig!

    3. Del in Virginia says:

      This new committee is clearly the last thing our congress needed – another committee to give them a floor to pontificate to the public, raise their own pet issues, and further threaten the Constitution of the United States of America.

      The congress was established as a bicameral body for good reasons – to have one body, the House of Representatives, having a close relationship with the people, regularly accountable through the 2 year limitation of their terms of office. It was designed to be the only democratic body in our federalist system of central government. Having a direct relationship with the electorate through the small districts it was expected that they would be more responsive to the passions of the people, for good and for bad.

      • Pete Houston says:

        To: Del in Virginia

        Very well articulated. Bypassing this function is wrong with the "Super Committee" if there was a method to the corruption, this is it. Far easier to manipulate the 12 than it is to manipulate the the 435.

    4. Lloyd Scallan says:

      This "super committee" is nothing more than another ploy to distract the American people. Anyone that believes the Dems and Repbs. that were appointed will reach a bipartisan agreement is a fool. Just look at who is one the committee. Extreme leftist and gutless righties. They were chosen specifically NOT reach and agreement thus the auto-triggers will trip and gut our defense system. That's why it was approved by Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Boehner, and McConnell.

    5. RennyG says:

      I have to concluded that if this special groupe of people can solve our financial problems, then why do we need the rest of them. It would also be easier to monitor them as a smaller group!!!

    6. Horton hears a screw says:

      A meeting's a meeting, no matter how small!

    7. Bill H says:

      This is a joke! Remember Erskine Bolles or going back a few years farther the Grace Commission! Nothing happened on either one of these commissions but a big waste of taxpayer dollars. So why should we think anything will come out of this commission? We have a bunch of spineless whimps representing we the people whose rating is lower than whale dung. But we must remember who voted these whimps in.

    8. Bobbie says:

      …Is this super committee even constitutional? If congress needs a sub committee to do the job congress is expected to do but hands it to sub, who are we paying twice? Isn't that admittance of inability? disqualified? separate area to circumvent and corrupt any other areas?

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