Filming Restrictions At The US Capitol Alarm TV Journalists
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 14, 2017,
Jun 14, 2017, 20:45
The Washington Post reports journalists were told to stop filming interviews in Senate hallways Tuesday, a dramatic break with tradition as lawmakers face pressure to respond to journalists' inquiries about President Donald Trump, health care legislation and other matters.
Hallway interviews will still be allowed if approved by the Senate Rules Committee, the Senate Sergeant At Arms or the Senate Radio and TV Committee.
After the new press rules became apparent on Tuesday afternoon, the voices of criticism had grown into a full-blown chorus, with Democrats leading the charge and some Republicans joining them.
But Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, issued a statement in which he said that the committee "has made no changes to the existing rules governing press coverage on the Senate side of the Capitol complex". LawNewz.com reached out to Klobuchar's office and is awaiting a response.
In response to Shelby's statement, however, Hunt noted that reporters are now still not allowed to conduct hallway interviews.
The move would reverse years of precedent, and reporters would no longer be allowed to record video or audio. "While the Rules Committee is reviewing the rules, reporters should continue to operate as they were operating yesterday".
Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat and the vice-chair of the rules committee, said she had spoken to Shelby, who assured her that the incident this morning was a "staff inquiry" and not a change to long-honored reporting practices.
According to the alliance, the committee was planning to enforce a 1993 rule that required various permissions for a reporter to interview a senator on congressional premises, a rule that has not been enforced.
When asked if there would be any actual changes to press rules, Shelby said, "I would hope not". Reporters regularly grab senators for quick comments as they walk between meetings and hearings.
The move to restrict press access on the Hill also comes as the Republican-controlled Senate is quietly working on its version of a health care bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Several Democratic senators accused their GOP counterparts of trying to dodge tough questions.
"This is a bad idea", tweeted Nebraska Sen. Tim Scott, a South Carolina Republican, tried to explain the decision by suggesting that press cameras could capture senators' financial information when they use the ATM machines.