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Hearing Tuesday 6/19/12 “Economic Impact of Ending or Reducing Funding for the ACS and other Government statistics”

Finally! I hope all of our DC friends will show up for this Congressional hearing next week entitled, “The Economic Impact of Ending or Reducing Funding for the American Community Survey and other Government Statistics” being held by the Congressional Joint Economic Committee (JEC). As we’ve argued over and over, these types of data/statistics are critical to a well-functioning democracy. Here’s a great chance for the American public to shut down the misguided and unsupported perspectives of Representative Daniel Webster and other politicians of his ilk. Support the ACS and the Census!

The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), will hold a hearing entitled, “The Economic Impact of Ending or Reducing Funding for the American Community Survey and other Government Statistics,” at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 19, 2012, in room 210 of the Cannon House Office Building.

WHAT: Hearing on “The Economic Impact of Ending or Reducing Funding for the American Community Survey and other Government Statistics”

WHO: Mr. Kenneth Simonson, Chief Economist
The Associated General Contractors of America and Vice President,
National Association for Business Economics
Washington, DC

The Honorable Vincent P. Barabba, Former Director of the Census Bureau (1973-1976;
1979-1981) and Current Chairman
Market Insight Corporation
Capitola, CA

The Honorable Keith Hall, Senior Research Fellow
Mercatus Center at George Mason University and former Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor
Arlington, Virginia

The Honorable Grant D. Aldonas, Principal Managing Director
Split Rock International
Washington, DC

WHEN: 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 19, 2012

WHERE: 210 Cannon House Office Building

Video Blackout of Hearing on Budgets of GPO, LoC, GAO, CBO

The hearing on Tuesday (Feb 7, 2012) on budgets for the Library of Congress, the Government Printing Office, the Government Accountability Office, and the Congressional Budget Office is not expected to be webcast by the committee.

  • Video Blackout of Hearing on Budgets for Legislative Support Agencies, Daniel Schuman, Sunglight Foundation
    (Feb. 5, 2012).

    Only the House and Senate Legislative Appropriations Committees regularly hold annual public hearings on the workings of these agencies; the oversight committees (Committee on House Administration and Senate Rules) generally do not, and the Joint Committee on the Library and Joint Committee on Printing no longer holds substantive meetings in public.

    The new House rules require that all committees provide “audio and video coverage of each hearing or meeting” that “allows the public to easily listen … and view the proceedings” “to the maximum extent practicable.” All of the House committees have at least one hearing room that is equipped with a camera, and the House Recording Studio will provide a camera upon a committee’s request. Unfortunately, this hearing is being held in a room without a camera, and I’ve been informed that the Committee has not requested one.

Schuman notes that things could still change for Tuesday’s hearing — it could change rooms and could be webcast. He plans to attend it, and says he will post an update on the Sunlight Foundation blog if he can make it into the tiny room where the meeting is currently scheduled.

House to live-stream committee proceedings

House to live-stream committee proceedings, By Debbie Siegelbaum, The Hill (02/02/12).

The House is now offering live video streaming of committee proceedings online through the Library of Congress.

The Committee on House Administration announced on Thursday that the live webcasts would be available at http://thomas.loc.gov/video/house-committee.

The Library of Congress also will archive previous committee proceedings, which the panel said would create the first “one-stop shop for House committee video content.”

Government-recorded Hearings Now Being Added to C-SPAN

Carl Malamud was instrumental in getting more videos recorded by the Congressional committees themselves released to C-SPAN.

  • Government-recorded Hearings Now Being Added to the Video Library C-SPAN Video Library Blog (March 18, 2011).

    “The C-SPAN Video Library now contains committee hearings produced by House and Senate committees. C-SPAN can only record a limited number of committees every day. However, a number of House and Senate committees have installed their own equipment to webcast their committee proceedings. These webcasts are now scattered across House and Senate committee websites or not available at all. In order to enhance the offerings of the C-SPAN Video Library and to consolidate these hearings in one place, we are importing government produced committee video into the Video Library.”

Browse the C-SPAN video library.

Hat tip to INFOdocket!

More on Congressional Committee Webcast Archives

Josh Tauberer has a follow up to his earlier post on Congressional Video.

In it he quotes and notes:

> With the exception of distinct ‘direct download’ links on the House
> Energy Committee page, committees’ technology choices stand in the
> way of reuse or archival. Saving streams from the various proprietary
> protocols used by committees requires specialized tools which may
> violate DMCA. Given the public domain status of these videos, formats
> and technologies which encourage — rather than defeat — archival
> and reuse by citizen/users should be adopted.

To reiterate some of that: it may be illegal to make copies of some of these videos under the DMCA law because the videos are provided in particular proprietary formats. That is so even if the committee says it is ok to copy it.

and suggests:

* For the sake of archives and use by professional journalists, provide a stream that is high-quality (it probably exists but just isn’t public).

* Similarly, provide the streams at least additionally in a format that does not make it a violation of federal law to copy (again, it’s a problem regardless of whether the committee says “go ahead”).

* Remove any additional assertions (e.g. House Rules) on how congressional video may be used. Either it is public or it is not. It is an affront to free speech if Congress thinks government records, of all things, should be off-limits to any part of public discourse.

* Partner with experts in the public — e.g. Aphid and Carl Malamud — on establishing goals for congressional video.