Gaetz wants more cameras on the House floor

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 21: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) speaks to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House following a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on April 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. The president met with lawmakers about the $482 billion aid package that would replenish a small-business loan program and provide funding for hospitals facing financial shortfalls due to COVID-19. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) speaks to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House following a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump on April 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 5:35 PM PT – Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Representative Matt Gaetz from Florida has introduced an amendment to the House rules to allow cameras from C-SPAN to capture normal House proceedings on Tuesday.

Similar to when the Speaker of the House voting was taking place, the amendment will require that cameras be allowed to broadcast all proceedings from the House floor.

“I’ve received a lot of feedback from constituents about how interesting it was and that you were able to see in real time how our government is functioning, what alliances are being created, what discussions are being had, what animated moments drive the action,” Gaetz said. “And the pool view of the Congress is antiquated and a little boomer-fied.”

The amendment requires that a minimum of four cameras, owned and operated by C-SPAN, be allowed by the Speaker of House to broadcast and record every day floor proceedings

Since C-Span captured the Speaker of the House proceedings that took place January 3rd to January 7th, support has been mounting to have them permanently operate on the floor and capture normal operations.

Currently, cameras are fixed on the dais and are controlled by the House Recording Studio. That footage is then taken and used by C-SPAN for broadcasting purposes.

Gaetz argued that this mode of operation is not showing the full experience of the House and how members communicate with each other.

“It’s interesting to see how our leaders communicate with one another, and it’s humanizing,” he continued. “I had constituents reach out to me about a friendly chat that the country observed me having with [Democratic Rep.] Sheila Jackson Lee. And while Sheila and I certainly have had very high-octane moments in the House Judiciary Committee, and while neither one of us like to give an inch when it comes to effective argumentation, I’ve also found her to be a warm person interpersonally.”

Among the normal House operations, the cameras are likely to capture some striking moments as well. During the Speaker of the House votes, cameras had captured a furious Representative Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) having to be restrained by Representative Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) after confronting Gaetz.

Although striking moments are likely to be displayed, Gaetz said that the amendment has support from both the public and House members.

“I have talked to a handful of colleagues and I have yet to encounter one who didn’t view the broader transparency as a net positive. and you know of people observed me having conversations with [Democratic Rep.] Debbie Wasserman Schultz, former head of the Democratic Party,” he said. “So, there are moments of bipartisanship and collegiality that occur every day. And the country doesn’t get to see those.”