Hah. We just cracked open Roll Call for basically the first time since we left Washington DC, and it turns out we miss reading occasional updates on the slow, grinding pace of incredibly stupid legislation. Like! "Less than a week after the Senate passed its own regulations for using YouTube videos, the House Administration Committee tried to do the same - and ended up with an emotionally charged hearing and a breakdown in negotiations." Oh, it gets better. "The issue itself is almost mundane," Roll Call explains. Love that hedging "almost." You know, the future of the free world might depend on allowing members of congress to vlog, we better leave that for the reader to decide. How did this particular negotiation fall apart? Did John McCain step in at the last minute to broker a deal, again?
At one point, Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Mass.), who heads the franking commission, accused Republicans of twisting the issue and misrepresenting the commission's proposal. "Yesterday it was OK. Today it's not. Make up your mind," he yelled. "Honestly, if you want to make a deal, pick up the phone or find me on the floor. This is not the cooperative way to do it."The problem is Senators are not allowed to use Senate resources for politicking. House Dems want the same rule applied—no ads on members YouTube accounts. The debate fell apart over interpretation of that rule and over a seeming violation of parliamentary procedure by a Republican.
The attempted negotiations and the subsequent fiery meeting seem to have lessened the prospects for any action during this session. In a statement released after Thursday's meeting, Capuano said the meeting "made it clear to me that further review is required." "[W]e do not agree on interpretation of that language," the statement read. "Apparently, Republican Members of the Commission believe there should be no restrictions whatsoever on where a Member can post official web video. Democratic Members believe that official web video should appear on sites free from commercial or political advertising."Ha ha ha and there the debate ends. The Dems won't just push a bill through for whatever reason, because then they'll get in trouble or something, and that is the story of how Schoolhouse Rock lied to you about bills, and congress.