As the “Lame Duck” session of Congress draws to a close and we welcome in the 112th Session of Congress, the new Republican Majority of the United States House of Representatives will seek to overturn a long standing rule that there are no cell phones, smartphones, PDA’s, or Tablets allowed on the House Floor.

According to the new Speaker of the House John Boehner:

Mr. Boehner [Speaker of the House] has deep respect for the institution and its traditions. This is not free license to Skype or pay bills online. But we recognize that people consume information electronically these days. It’s just silly that the House wouldn’t accommodate that.”

I think there are a lot of merits to having technology included on the House Floor than upholding the tradition of the House of Representatives. It is not hard to spot technology in the White House either as President Obama was reported as huge fan of his BlackBerry and is regularly seen with a device in his hand as he exits Air Force One.

So do you think this is a good idea? Or do you think this is a way for our elected officials to look busy while supposedly working but really playing Angry Birds?

[via Geeks]



  1. I think that it’s reasonably common for anyone to make use of technology to research anything, and more and more people depend on their extended electronic storehouse of knowledge.(though one certainly needs to be even more careful about what one accepts as fact vs. opinion) I also imagine the more progressive members will have notes, or speeches stored electronically and accessable while mobile for practice, review, last minute edits, etc. This is just an extension of what people have been doing with laptops, etc. for years.

    Frankly, I’m less concerned with the count of who showed up for what vote and more concerned with the idea that showing up should be considered worth something! 90% of life is NOT just showing up, and if it is you’re sliding through and not really working for a living.

    If you want to hold them accountable, tie their salary into their success/failure rate on various issues as judged most important by the American public and let’s get our money’s worth for a change! Voting should be possible from virtually anywhere world wide if a strong enough encryption is used so that it can’t be broken within the time frame that the code remains viable. Who cares where they are, I care what they accomplish -if being half way across the country/world aids in that, fine by me.

    While we’re at it, let’s eliminate campaign contributions and monitary or perk based lobbying of any kind, give ’em an advertising budget and only let them campaign for 3 months of their terms. I’m tired of used car salesmen with charming grins and personal charisma getting elected and failing to do their jobs because they can’t charm a deficit.

    uh, rant over? ;)

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