If you enjoyed getting a front-row seat via C-SPAN to the drama surrounding House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) bid for the gavel, the channel won’t look the same for the remainder of the 118th Congress.
The nonprofit public service channel confirmed to The Hill on Monday that its cameras were no longer in the House chamber as a new rules package is debated and voted on and coverage of House proceedings is run through government feeds.
It is normal for C-SPAN to air congressional proceedings and public affairs events from House, Senate and other government-operated cameras.
“As we saw during the House Speaker election, the American people want to see their members of Congress debate and vote on major issues, both political and policy,” Robin Newton, a spokeswoman for the channel, said. “Allowing C-SPAN into the House chamber allowed Americans to get a better understanding of how Congress operates, learning from different, rarely-seen camera angles. We certainly hope to gain greater access to at least key legislative proceedings.”
C-SPAN was allowed unprecedented access to the House chamber last week as the GOP struggled to elect a Speaker due to a handful of members who withheld votes for McCarthy.
One of the early holdouts, Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said last week that the C-SPAN cameras that televised the drawn-out election for Speaker of the House were a “good thing for our democracy.”
“What the American people were able to see unfold on the floor was a good thing for our democracy and our republic, right? It was a good thing for people to be able to see the inner workings,” Roy told host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We need to be able to see some of the stuff we got to see this week. … I think drawing the American people into the conversation, into the debate on the floor, I mean, if you’re gonna have cameras there, let’s look at the action.”
C-SPAN’s cameras caught a number of dramatic scenes last week during the Speaker’s race, including conversations between lawmakers from opposing sides of the aisle and a contentious meeting between McCarthy and another holdout, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).