Now you can find live video from House committee hearings all on one simple website. The House Administration Committee and Library of Congress have joined forces on a new transparency project to: 1) provide “standardized and uniform live video-streaming” of House committee hearings on “one centralized website,” and 2) build an online video archive of committee hearings. You can see the site at http://thomas.loc.gov/video/house-committee or access it via Speaker.gov/Live.
“These videos, now available to the public in one centralized location, will allow constituents to quickly access House committee proceedings,” said Chairman Dan Lungren (R-CA). This important innovation will make it easier than ever for the American people to watch the legislative process in action – and to eventually look back at how important laws were crafted and why.
This effort began last year with a pilot project launched by Oversight & Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Speaker Boehner, in partnership with California-based non-profit Public.Resource.Org. By the end of 2011, a total of 1,139 Oversight Committee hearing videos (dating back to 1993) were made available online for the public. Learn more here.
This is the latest effort by House Republicans to use technology to open up the legislative process and better connect with the American people. In the 112th Congress, the House has begun:
- Posting Legislative Data Online in Machine-Readable Formats: Americans can now easily access all House bills, amendments, and more in XML format by visiting docs.House.gov.
- Streaming Video of the House Floor Online & to Mobile Devices: Whether you’re at your desk or on the go, you can now watch House debates, votes, speeches – anything happening live on the House floor or that’s archived – quickly and easily through HouseLive.gov.
- Updating House Floor Activity in Real-Time: The House Clerk now provides a text-based play-by-play of legislative activity, a look at each piece of legislation to be considered on a given day, and all votes – including direct links to the official roll call – in real-time and in XML format.
- Utilizing Low-Cost Video Conferencing Tools Like Skype & OoVoo: Member of Congress now have access to low-cost tools to help them better connect and engage with their constituents.
- Connecting With Americans Via New Mobile Apps: The Library of Congress made the Congressional Record available and searchable in a new iPad app. And Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) WhipCast app gives users quick access to information and push notifications from the floor of the House of Representatives (on bills debated, votes taken, and more).
- Working With Developers & Transparency Advocates: The House Administration Committee hosted a Legislative Data and Transparency Conference last week. And Leader Cantor and Democratic Whip hosted a “Hackathon” to “explore the potential connections between legislative data, constituent correspondence, and social media.”
Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor also released Facebook tabs highlighting the GOP Plan for America’s Job Creators. The use of Twitter by House Republicans was the subject of a New York Times article on the GOP’s “very rapid response team.” Republicans launched an aggressive digital fact check and social Q&A on the night of the State of the Union address. And there’s much more.