Alex Brandon/Associated Press
- Rep. Matt Gaetz said he wants to bring C-SPAN cameras back to the House floor.
- Gaetz introduce an amendment to the House rules on Tuesday afternoon.
- C-SPAN cameras were able to freely capture the House speaker votes last week.
Rep. Matt Gaetz on Tuesday said he wants wants C-SPAN cameras back on the House floor, days after they captured the chaotic speaker vote and the internal GOP drama that came with it.
The Florida Republican introduced an amendment to the House rules to allow C-SPAN cameras on the floor during regular proceedings, his spokesperson told Insider. Fox News first reported the news.
The current pool view of Congress, mainly restricted to recording whichever lawmaker is speaking at the dais, is “antiquated and a little boomer-fied,” Gaetz told Fox News.
Permanently broadcasting proceedings in the lower chamber would allow Americans to get a closer look at how lawmakers communicate with each other and increase transparency, he added.
“I’ve received a lot of feedback from constituents about how interesting it was, and that you were able to see in real time how our government is functioning, what alliances are being created, what discussions are being had, what animated moments drive the action,” Gaetz said, adding that the cameras were “humanizing.”
The four-day-long battle to elect a House speaker ended early Saturday morning with Rep. Kevin McCarthy securing the gavel. Since no leader had been governing the legislative body during the 15 votes throughout the week, C-SPAN media cameras were able to freely shoot the spectacle unraveling on the House floor, up close and personal.
Among the many striking moments included a visibly furious Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama confronting Gaetz, who had repeatedly voted against McCarthy for speaker. Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, seated beside Gaetz, looked stunned as Rogers charged at the Florida lawmaker and was restrained by Rep. Richard Hudson of North Carolina.
The cameras also caught seemingly unlikely conversations happening across the political aisle, such as an exchange between Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and GOP Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, prompting an onslaught of curiosity about what the two could have been talking about.
“There are there are moments of bipartisanship and collegiality that occur every day. And the country doesn’t get to see those,” Gaetz told Fox News.
The clips went viral over the week, leading to public calls for the zoomed-in camera angles to remain on the floor. But the chamber has since returned to its regular broadcasting. Gaetz said colleagues he’s spoken to have expressed similar support for bringing the cameras back.
“I have talked to a handful of colleagues and I have yet to encounter one who didn’t view the broader transparency as a net positive,” he told Fox News.