March 10, 2010

Rep. Frank invites C-SPAN to Capitol Hill

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) wants C-SPAN to broadcast the House and Senate conference meeting on proposed finance reform bills.

The type of "old-fashioned" conference Frank is talking about is a real rarity in today’s Congress. House and Senate negotiators would debate the points of disagreement between the two chambers, voting point-by-point in open session – an open session that Frank would like broadcast on C-SPAN for all the world to see.

While his primarily motivations are undoubtedly political — he wants TV cameras to catch Republicans opposing the expansion of politically popular financial regulation — this is still a good idea and one that should be used on other bills as well.

Neither the stimulus bill nor the health care bill had anywhere near this kind of transparency in their deal making stages. The health care bill especially — with its noxious inclusion of the "Cornhusker Kickback" and "Louisiana Purchase" provisions — would have benefited greatly from a more open process.