C-SPAN to Obama, Congress: Honor your ‘open legislative negotiations’ promises

Fox News reports:

The head of C-SPAN has implored Congress to open up the last leg of health care reform negotiations to the public, as top Democrats lay plans to hash out the final product among themselves.

C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb wrote to leaders in the House and Senate Dec. 30 urging them to open “all important negotiations, including any conference committee meetings,” to televised coverage on his network.

“The C-SPAN networks will commit the necessary resources to covering all of the sessions LIVE and in their entirety,” he wrote.

In a Tuesday afternoon press conference on health legislation negotiations, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared to object to the premise behind the request.

“There has never been a more open process for any legislation in anyone who’s served here’s experience,” she said.

Are you freaking kidding me?

As if that’s not laughable enough, watch this video of Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), assistant to Pelosi, saying nearly the same thing:

Partial transcript (via MM):

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), assistant to the Speaker, said the healthcare bill had been “subjected to unprecedented level of public scrutiny.”

Pressed on whether C-SPAN cameras would be allowed in negotiations, Van Hollen hedged.

“We don’t even know if there’s going to be a conference committee,” he said, alluding to the likelihood that Democrats will reconcile the two bills behind closed doors.

Earlier in that same press conference, Pelosi said about the only truthful thing that has come out of her mouth in the last year:

Pelosi also hinted that holding informal negotiations–likely without TV cameras–might be the most practical way to push the legislation through.

“We will do what is necessary to pass the bill,” Pelosi said.

Yeah, I’ll say.

Here’s a video flashback to Pelosi’s Election Day 2006 pledge to help Democrats “lead the most honest, most open and most ethical congress in history.” Here’s video of candidate Obama promising to televise legislative negotiations on C-SPAN (at about the 1 minute mark):

Wake up, America!

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