10:01 PM PST on Sunday, January 9, 2011
By BEN GOAD
WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives will enact new requirements sought by Inland Rep. Mary Bono Mack to add transparency to the legislative process.
In one of its first actions, the newly convened 112th Congress on Wednesday approved rules that will govern the chamber’s operations over the next two years. Among them is a set of requirements proposed by Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs, before the close of the last Congress.
Under the new rules, all committees and subcommittees must webcast all hearings sessions known as mark-ups, during which bills are refined with amendments. While some committees streamed their hearings on the Internet in the past, many did not; and mark-ups, often called the unsavory “sausage-making” of the legislative process, were rarely seen by anyone not inside cramped Capitol Hill committee rooms.
The new rules also require committees to post certain information — including hearing attendance, amendments and roll call votes — online, along with the full text of legislation being considered.
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