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Live, On Periscope, From the Vote-a-Rama

Moran and Thune on Periscope during the vote-a-rama. (Niels Lesniewski/CQ Roll Call)

For a pair of Republican senators, the budget vote-a-rama seemed like a great time to demonstrate they aren't luddites.  

Sens. John Thune of South Dakota and Jerry Moran of Kansas teamed up to shoot a brief video using the Periscope live-streaming app to share with their constituents (and all of the Internet) what the Senate is doing on what will be an exceptionally long night .  

After previewing the Periscope appearance with a selfie, the two Midwestern lawmakers got down to business. They talked about how the Commerce Committee, where Thune is chairman and Moran is a senior member, has oversight of communications and technology, as well as the other interests of many senators.

"Periscope is one of the new ones, so we're glad to be able to be a part of that this evening and take a break from being inside, voting on amendments to the budget, and also probably watching a few ... basketball games," Thune said.  

"I hope we get to see a Final Four game, because we'll be watching Wichita State tonight," Moran said, sporting an appropriately colored tie and a matching pin. "During any break we get from those votes, we're going to be rooting the Shockers on and hope that they do get to the Final Four as they did a couple years ago."  

Thune pointed out that the Periscope video was filming just ahead of his offering an amendment during the marathon session of roll call votes designed to indicate support for a repeal of the estate tax. The Senate adopted that amendment 54-46.  

Another Thune amendment of interest to the Internet community would establish a reserve fund in connection with legislation, as the amendment put it, "relating to protecting the open Internet and promoting further innovation and investment in Internet services, content, infrastructure, and technologies."  

That amendment could be viewed as expressing support for legislative action related to net neutrality, perhaps thwarting the Federal Communications Commission's current efforts to use Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 to regulate Internet services, which Thune and other Republicans have decried.  

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