Democrats Turned Off The C-SPAN Cameras Too, In 2008

Scores of elected Democrats have been sitting in on the floor of the House of Representatives in order to induce a vote on a bill that would stop people on the no fly list from purchasing a firearm.

But just as Democrats were starting their sit-in, the C-SPAN cameras inside of the House chamber were turned off under the order of the Republican leadership.

While turning off the cameras might be an affront to the American people, it is not the first time that it has happened.

In fact, Democrats did the same thing in 2008 when they controlled the body.

On August 1, 2008 then Speaker Nancy Pelosi wanted to adjourn the House. But a sizable group of Republicans wanted to stay on the floor in order to speak about their desire to increase off-shore drilling.

Then things got a little nutty.

From POLITICO in 2008:

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the Democrats adjourned the House, turned off the lights and killed the microphones, but Republicans are still on the floor talking gas prices.

Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders opposed the motion to adjourn the House, arguing that Pelosi’s refusal to schedule a vote allowing offshore drilling is hurting the American economy. They have refused to leave the floor after the adjournment motion passed at 11:23 a.m., and they are busy bashing Pelosi and her fellow Democrats for leaving town for the August recess.

At one point, the lights went off in the House and the microphones were turned off in the chamber, meaning Republicans were talking in the dark. But as Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz..) was speaking, the lights went back on and the microphones were turned on shortly afterward.

But C-SPAN, which has no control over the cameras in the chamber, has stopped broadcasting the House floor, meaning no one was witnessing this except the assembled Republicans, their aides, and one Democrat, Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), who has now left.”

The thought of a bunch of Republicans standing on the floor of the House talking to themselves and Dennis Kucinich is actually quite funny.

But the GOP didn’t think so then and rightfully so.

“This is the people’s House,” Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) said back in 2008. “This is not Pelosi’s politiburo.”

The C-SPAN cameras should never be turned off as they are the best way for the American people to connect with the goings on in Congress.

But both sides have played fast and loose with them in the past.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

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About the Author
Rich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.

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