April 20th, 2010
06:55 PM ET
12 years ago

GOP urges new tech rules on Hill

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/20/art.skype.gi.jpg caption ="House Republican leaders are asking in a letter sent to Democrats that rules governing the use of Skype be re-examined."]Washington (CNN) – House Republican leaders sent a letter Monday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Pennsylvania Rep. Robert Brady asking that House rules restricting the use of video conferencing be eased.

Currently, House rules prohibit members of Congress from using video-conferencing software applications such as Skype.

The letter, released Tuesday afternoon, was signed by House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, Eric Cantor of Virginia, Mike Pence of Indiana, Cathy McMorris Rogers of Washington, and Dan Lungren of California is the result of an effort led by Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California to find more effective ways of engaging constituents.

"[T]he House remains tied to outdated rules that make video conferencing difficult and expensive. The fact is we don't need to sacrifice cyber security to open new lines of communication, like with Skype and other similar technology," McCarthy said in a statement. "If members of the House are to effectively represent the will of the people, we must keep pace with secure 21st century communications tools."

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill says that the current rules governing video conferencing were designed following a network breach involving a peer-to-peer network. Following the incident, Pelosi and Boehner issued a joint directive asking the House Administration Committee to limit use of peer-to-peer networks on Capitol Hill. Brady, a Pennsylvania Democrat, is chairman of the House Administration panel.

But now Hammill says the issue will be re-examined.

"We want to be able to allow members to use the latest technology to communicate with their constituents, and Skype is one way to do that. We are thankful they raised the issue," Hammill told CNN.

Filed under: GOP • Nancy Pelosi • Social Media
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Seattle Sue

    Something is up, Boehner, Cantor and Pence can't be trusted.

    April 20, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    What's wrong with Republicans, they need to find some business about them instead of make busy.

    April 20, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  3. Dan, TX

    This may be the first reasonable thing the GOP has suggested in a year. Of course, any computer they use will likely have all its files copied and sent off to China by the end of day 1, but really, what harm can that do?

    April 20, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  4. m smith

    Something fishy. Have you ever heard of a repo wanting to up grade technology into the 21st century Seems like Orangeman Boehner wants it one way and now the other. Typical .

    April 20, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. Keith in Austin

    I doubt seriously if Queen Bee Nancy will even respond to this GOP request. The
    Democrats contolling BOTH houses of Congress haven't passed anything in a bi-partisan manner since their strangling power grab. Why start now????

    April 20, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  6. Ryan

    Of all the things that need attention.... Seriously, does the GOP even know what tech is??

    April 20, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  7. Operation Crush Rush

    Nothing is safe from hackers and the Chinese are the best.

    April 20, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  8. phoenix86

    Pelosi does NOT want the deal making she does made public.

    Corruption at its finest in the form of Lady Botox.

    April 20, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |