Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Buchanan continues to press for open debt committee meetings



Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, is pressing the chairs of the 12-member debt committee to hold the meetings in public. "This should be an 'open and shut' case," Buchanan wrote in a letter today to Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Jeb Hensarling. (read the letter below.)

Buchanan told the Buzz last week that he had written letters to each of the 12 members. His new offensive comes after a Roll Call story about logistical concerns slowing the start of the meetings.

The Honorable Patty Murray
The Honorable Jeb Hensarling
Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Co-Chairman Murray and Co-Chairman Hensarling:
I was very disappointed to read a Roll Call story which reported that there are ongoing discussions about whether the Joint Select Committee’s work sessions will be conducted in open or closed session.
Why would the Committee operate any differently than other committees?  This should be an “open and shut” case.  It should do its work just like other committees – out in the open for all to see.
All of the Committee’s sessions must be open to the American people and the press.  It needs to work like most House committees do – in open session where our citizens can watch and the press can report.
In fact, I have introduced bi-partisan legislation (H.R. 2976), which requires the Committee’s sessions to be held in open session.  There is companion legislation to my bill in the U.S. Senate, S. 1501.
I hope that both co-chairmen can quickly agree that all of the Joint Select Committee’s work will be held in open session.  The Committee’s mission is too important to our nation’s fiscal future for it to work behind closed doors.
Vern Buchanan
Member of Congress

[Last modified: Monday, August 22, 2011 12:37pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours