Congressional leaders may dispense with the traditional House-Senate conference to reconcile the two chambers’ competing health care bills in favor of less formal negotiations. Whatever form the process takes, C-Span would like to be there. On December 30, C-Span CEO Brian Lamb sent a letter to Congressional leaders requesting that his network be able to provide live coverage of the negotiations. The congressional leadership has yet to respond. According to Politifact.com, during the presidential campaign, then-Senator Barack Obama repeatedly promised to allow C-Span coverage of negotiations over health care reform.
UPDATE: Conferences for highly contested bills may be a thing of the past.
“There has never been a more open process for any legislation,” according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Even if true, that would not be saying much. The Republicans did not set so high a bar. Also, TPM: “Oh, Snap!”
SECOND UPDATE: Igor Volsky of Think Progress thinks televising any House-Senate negotiations would bea bad idea and Ezra Klein is conflicted.