C-SPAN Requests Permanent Camera Access to House after Candid Speakership Voting Footage

C-SPAN, the non-profit network that televises government proceedings, on Tuesday requested permanent camera access to the House chamber after it captured viral intimate footage of the multi-day voting marathon for the speakership.

In a letter to GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who just narrowly clinched the speakership, C-SPAN CEO Susan Swain asked that the outlet be allowed to continue covering the House floor. She noted that since Congress permitted its sessions to be filmed 43 years ago, “there has been little change in the strict rules that House technicians must follow.”

During last week’s saga of ballots and negotiations over the House speakership, C-SPAN was granted the opportunity to bring its own cameras, which picked up candid, emotionally charged moments and split-second decisions providing a closer look at the GOP infighting. C-SPAN’s eagle-eyed cameras brought a new level of entertainment value to the ordinarily monotonous, somewhat sequestered event.

The footage enabled viewers to see McCarthy as he made concessions to his detractors in an attempt to win their votes as well as the tally board for each ballot. On his 15th attempt just after midnight on Saturday, McCarthy won the speakership with 216 votes – one more than the 215 needed- after a tense final stretch on the House floor, which C-SPAN also recorded.

In one striking C-SPAN video vignette, staunch Trump-supporter and Republican Representative Matt Gaetz talks to progressive “squad” member and Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Gaetz told NewsNation in an interview Tuesday that he will lobby to permit more cameras on the House floor.

As the speakership voting heated up last week, Gaetz got into a verbal scuffle with Republican Representative Mike Rogers. Republican Representative Richard Hudson restrained Rogers as he tried to confront Gaetz, with his hand covering Rogers’ mouth. The episode was recorded on live camera.

Rogers reportedly got upset after Gaetz refused to change his mind on opposing McCarthy, who had just lost the 14th ballot for the speakership because of six Republican holdouts. Gaetz- the last pivotal vote in that round- voted present, preventing McCarthy from getting the gavel.

On Sunday, Rogers tweeted that he regretted losing his temper with Gaetz, with whom he has had “a long and productive working relationship.”

“I’m going to be working with some of my colleagues in Congress to allow more cameras on the [House] floor to be able to see what the elected the elected representative are doing,” Gaetz said. “That means you’ll see some moments of high tension and perhaps a little bit of discord.”

In another surprising C-SPAN shot, Ocasio-Cortez chats, amicably it seems, with House Freedom Caucus member, McCarthy opponent, and GOP Representative Paul Gosar. Later in the week, C-SPAN caught Gosar looking distressed as he announced his vote flip for McCarthy in the final tally, MSNBC pointed out.

Appealing to lip reading experts and others, Twitter users scrambled to decipher the members’ conversations, which were unusual to see in such a divided congressional climate.

“The public, press, and Member reaction to C-SPAN’s coverage- along with ‘transparency’ themes in your new rules package- have encouraged us to resubmit a request we have made to your predecessors without success,” Swain wrote to McCarthy.

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