Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern said Republicans havent kept their promises on making the House more transparent.
Only a couple of years ago, of course, Republicans were lodging the same sort of complaints about the way then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was running the chamber.
The Case for Quiet
Some expert observers of Congress argue that a degree of secrecy actually helps lawmakers reach compromises that would have been impossible if worked out in the public arena.
In a Congressional Research Service paper from 2011, shortly after the super committee concluded its assignment, Walter J. Oleszek revisited this theme. He wrote: “Private discussions and meetings offer lawmakers a ‘sanctuary’ where their opinions and ideas can be raised and vigorously debated without concern about outside political repercussions.”
Sarah Binder, a Congressional expert and professor at George Washington University, agrees.
“Putting things behind closed doors facilitates compromise that might not be possible out in the public’s eye,” Binder said. “If our ultimate goal is to actually solve public problems, my approach is to give legislators the space they need in order to craft those deals.”
Rep. Bill Cassidy has his blood drawn by Alesha Barbour during a free hepatitis screening in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus to recognize "National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day."
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