House GOP Wants to Make It Harder for Members to Livestream and Take Photos From the House Floor

"Decorum" vs. Democracy.

When Republicans cut C-SPAN’s feed to the House after House Democrats staged a sit-in to protest Republicans’ refusal to bring proposed gun control measures to the floor for a vote, the protest was livestreamed. Through members’ Periscope and Facebook accounts, the public was able to watch the over 25-hour-long protest.

A new policy proposal introduced by House Republicans would make livestreaming and taking photos from the floor a lot harder in the future, or at least more expensive. A first offense would come with a $500 fine, those following a $2,500 fine, all taken out of the member’s paycheck.

While Speaker Paul Ryan, via a spokesperson, is couching the proposed rules as a desire for “decorum,” Variety’s Cynthia Littleton reports that, instead of a spontaneous quest for propriety, they are “seen as a response to the ‘sit-in’ protest that House Democrats mounted last June.”

One House member, Rep. Eric Swalwell, has been very vocal on Twitter about what the House GOP can do with its proposal.