Conference Committees on C-SPAN
January 13, 2010
Over the last twenty-three years, C-SPAN cameras have covered many public meetings of conference committees on major legislation. In 2009 for example, C-SPAN covered conferences on the supplemental appropriations, the budget resolution, and the economic stimulus. However, this coverage is limited to the public meetings which are usually confined to the opening statements or the final meeting after agreement has been reached on the issues. Those agreements are reached behind closed doors where C-SPAN cameras are not permitted.
In the April, 2009 conference on the budget resolution, the conference chair was asked directly if there would be any more public meetings. Sen. Conrad (D-ND) responded that additional meetings were not likely unless they could not reach agreement. He added that they would then return for motions in public.
A review of past years show a number of multi-day conference committees which were substantive in nature. In 1989, for example, the Savings and Loan bailout conference was covered on five days for a total of twenty-seven hours. The last session was almost nine hours.
The following search shows conference committees in the Video Library. Conference Commitees
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