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17 March 2010

C-SPAN: Democrats Work Behind Closed Doors On Health Care Bill

It's never a good thing when C-SPAN, the non-partisan Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, subtly suggests that congressional Democrats are avoiding transparency and openness by crafting a huge health care bill away from the public eye behind closed doors.

Here's a screenshot from the front page of C-SPAN.org:



We all remember the last time C-SPAN inserted itself into a debate on open government [Walker, Andre (2010-1-5). C-SPAN CEO Asks Pelosi & Reid For Transparent Health Care Coverage. Georgia Politics Unfiltered. Retrieved on 2010-3-17.]. It was not pretty. The universal opinion at the time was that if C-SPAN had issues with transparency and openness, then the process was not open and transparent enough.

This week is Sunshine Week; a week dedicated to "opening a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information." [SOURCE: Sunshine Week.org]

Tuesday afternoon, President Obama issued a statement pledging his continued support for open government. The statement read in part:

I want to applaud everyone who has worked to increase transparency in government and recommit my administration to be the most open and transparent ever, an effort that will strengthen our democracy and ensure the public’s trust in their government. We came to Washington to change the way business was done, and part of that was making ourselves accountable to the American people by opening up our government.

If the President's words are to be believed, then let the sunshine in on the Rules Committee. If Democrats are committed to the most honest, most open and most transparent government ever (and I believe we are), then let the cameras into the room and allow the American people the opportunity to see their government at work.