U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland today called on congressional leaders to honor their campaign promises by accepting C-SPAN’s request to air health care legislation negotiations.
“Between Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s vague pledge to lead the most open, honest and transparent Congress in history and President Obama’s explicit, no-room-for-spin vow to air health care negotiations on C-SPAN, I can’t imagine the American people allowing the Democrats to just sweep this issue under the rug. This goes to the heart of their credibility,” Westmoreland said.
On Tuesday, Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate received a letter from C-SPAN chief Brian Lamb asking to bring in cameras to show the health care talks.
“President Obama, House and Senate leaders, many of your rank-and-file members, and the nation’s editorial pages have all talked about the value of transparent discussions on reforming the nation’s health care system,” Lamb wrote to the leaders. “Now that the process moves to the critical stage of reconciliation between the Chambers, we respectfully request that you allow the public full access, through television, to legislation that will affect the lives of every single American.”
Westmoreland points out that GOP leaders have accepted the invitation and are encouraging their Democratic counterparts to do the same.
“President Obama didn’t leave room for interpretation when he said he’d allow in C-SPAN cameras so that Americans could see who was on their side and who was working on behalf of drug makers and the insurance industry,” Westmoreland said. “Yet, when asked about it today as Democrats are carrying on secret deal making in the Capitol, the speaker laughed. Laughed! Her response basically admits there’s a huge gap between their rhetoric and the reality of their one-party rule. She said, ‘There are a number of things he was for on the campaign trail.’ She’s going to need to send him some flowers after that.
“If the Democratic bigwigs are really looking out for Americans’ best interests, they should be bending over backwards to put it on TV. If they block cameras, what does that say about what they’re doing behind closed doors?”