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Senate Approves New YouTube Rules, House Balks

by Ken Ward, on September 24, 2008

Per Emily Yehle's Roll Call article, the Senate has revised its rules to allow Senators to post YouTube videos (and other content generated by third-party Web sites) to their official Senate Web sites. It is interesting to note that the Senate reversed its course since I last blogged on this issue:

Earlier this year, Senate officials planned to go the route of the House franking commission and keep a list of “approved Web sites” that agreed to provide pages free of advertisements or partisan leanings.

But after the complaints in the House, Senate officials switched gears, and the approved rule change now mimics the Republican plan. Senators have the discretion to use whatever third-party Web site they want, as long as it follows the Senate’s Internet Services Usage Rules and Policies.

Hooray, but what about the House!?

Today, the Committee on House Administration held a business meeting (likely their last one for the year) where Rep. Vern Ehlers submitted a motion to adopt the Senate rule. Unfortunately, Rep. Brady blocked the consideration.

New Tele-Townhall Rule

The Committee did adopt a rule to allow allowing for a one-time approval of "Tele-Townhall" scripts. Basically, every Tele-Townhall begins with a Member pre-recorded invitation. That invitation is subject to Franking rules, but the new policy will free offices up to have more impromptu Tele-Townhalls (because they won't have to wait for Franking approval of a script they have previously used).

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