C-SPAN’s Co-CEO Susan Swain is asking House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to allow her organization’s cameras in the House chamber full time. Swain is renewing the perennial request after experiencing success covering the 15 ballot House Speaker vote.
“C-SPAN, a private not-for-profit public affairs network, commits to covering House debates in the same manner we have televised Congressional hearings – fully, accurately and with the unbiased production style on which we have built our reputation since 1979,” Swain wrote in a letter to McCarthy.
If the request is approved, C-SPAN pledged to share its feed with all the other TV networks. Their cameras caught many close up moments from the House floor during the speaker saga that revealed how proceedings play out.
That includes a pivotal moment when McCarthy confronted Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and the pair had a tense exchange, during which McCarthy told a staff member to step back. As McCarthy walked away, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., was held back as he confronted Gaetz and had a hand placed over his mouth.
It also captured many interesting one-on-one conversations, like the discussion between Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. Gosar was once censured for posting a video depicting Ocasio-Cortez’s death.
Had C-SPAN’s cameras not been there, the country would have seen a generic wide shot of the House floor that shows little detail. C-SPAN is receiving support in its bid to keep cameras in the chamber from journalists and lawmakers alike. Gaetz offered an amendment to allow it.
“Americans deserve to know when we are frustrated, kind, present, or absent. The current pool view of the Congress is antiquated. My amendment will allow @CSPAN cameras on the House floor — bringing greater transparency and humanizing the entire process,” Gaetz tweeted.
“What the American people were able to see unfold on the floor was a good thing for our democracy and our Republic. It was a good thing for people to be able to see the inner workings and this isn’t just a shirts and skins, red and blue, two team thing,” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas.
It’s up to McCarthy and Congressional leaders to make the final decision.