U.S. House Members Share Letters On Facebook

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are taking to Facebook to make their communications with President Obama, colleagues and regulatory agencies more transparent.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are taking to Facebook to make their communications with President Barack Obama, colleagues and regulatory agencies more transparent.

For example, late last month the President decided to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which prompted a letter signed by several House Republicans including Representative Pete Olson (R-TX) — who posted the correspondence on his Facebook page.

Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), vice chair of the House Republican Conference, posted a letter signed by several of her colleagues to Senators John Rockefeller (D-WV) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), expressing concern over the nomination of James Bryson as the new Secretary of the Commerce Department.

Remember when President Obama used the autopen to sign key provisions of the Patriot Act while he was in Europe? Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) and several colleagues shared their concern over the long-distance signing in a letter the Michigan congressman posted on his Facebook page.

In a nifty example of getting the most out of Facebook, the members signing these letters have been tagged using the social network’s photo-tagging service.

Republicans aren’t the only ones leveraging Facebook in this way. We found an example of Democrats getting in on the action, too. Representative Sander Levin (D-MI), ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee, posted correspondence on his own wall; this was a letter he’d written to Chairmen David Camp (R-MI) and Fred Upton (R-MI), asking for committees of jurisdiction to hold hearings over Republicans’ proposed cuts to government programs, such as Medicare.

One key difference in this case: The letter wasn’t uploaded using Facebook photos, therefore the photo-tagging feature that would have helped the information get shared and searched more easily wasn’t leveraged.

What do you think of sharing Congressional correspondence on Facebook?