Conference Committees on C-SPAN
January 13, 2010
Over the last twenty-three years, C-SPAN cameras have covered many public meetings of conference committees on major legislation. In 2009 for example, C-SPAN covered conferences on the supplemental appropriations, the budget resolution, and the economic stimulus. However, this coverage is limited to the public meetings which are usually confined to the opening statements or the final meeting after agreement has been reached on the issues. Those agreements are reached behind closed doors where C-SPAN cameras are not permitted.
In the April, 2009 conference on the budget resolution, the conference chair was asked directly if there would be any more public meetings. Sen. Conrad (D-ND) responded that additional meetings were not likely unless they could not reach agreement. He added that they would then return for motions in public.
A review of past years show a number of multi-day conference committees which were substantive in nature. In 1989, for example, the Savings and Loan bailout conference was covered on five days for a total of twenty-seven hours. The last session was almost nine hours.
The following search shows conference committees in the Video Library. Conference Commitees
McGwire Testimony in Archive
January 12, 2010
Mark McGwire, who now admits to steroid use as a major league baseball player, testified before a House Committee in 2005 about steroid use. McGwire’s opening statement can be viewed here.
C-SPAN Health Care Coverage
January 7, 2010
Since January 20, 2009 C-SPAN has covered 794 hours of debate and discussion about health care legislation.
This coverage includes 68 hours of House Committee hearings, 131 hours of Senate Committee hearings, 15 hours of House debate and 223 hours of Senate debate on the bill. Not counted are many, many one-minute speeches, special order speeches, and morning business speeches in the House and Senate.
From the Administration there were also 37 hours of speeches, news conferences, and news briefings from the White House and another 36 hours of news conferences by House and Senate members and interest groups. Public policy forums, speeches, and the memorable congressional town hall meetings constitute another 100 hours. Finally, C-SPAN invited guests to participate in call-ins and other interviews for another 116 hours. All of these were public events that C-SPAN chose to cover and are available for viewing in the C-SPAN Video Library.
To view any of these 3300 programs go to the browse page and select health care. After you select view more programs at the bottom of the page you will be able to isolate programs by category. Simply clear all of the category type and then select House Committee or White House or Senate proceeding to isolate just that single category. The following link will take you directly to this page. C-SPAN Health Care Coverage
C-SPAN’s coverage will continue as new events occur in the remaining discussion on health care.
Produce a “How-to” Video for C-SPAN Video Library
January 4, 2010
C-SPAN is seeking proposals for a “how-to” video to help illustrate how to use the Video Library. If you have experience in this area, this is a great opportunity to work with C-SPAN to produce a tool to help others learn how to use the Video Library and Congressional Chronicle. The details are in the attached document. Share this document with others you know who have experience in producing videos. But hurry, the deadline is soon.
New Improved Search Released
December 29, 2009
The search on the C-SPAN Video Library has been updated to more quickly index the site. Previously the entire site was being reindexed several times a day. For a site as large and dynamic as C-SPANs, this took a long time with the result that the most recent names and entries would not be found in the search until the indexing was complete.
Now we have implemented a new indexing strategy to incrementally add the new names to the previous index. This means that each new name and program entry is indexed as soon as it is added to the database.
No more waiting. Users should be able to find new entries as soon as they are added and updated throughout the day. We continue to improve the site, so keep an eye out here for announcements of future innovations.