President Barack Obama has proclaimed his administration will be more open than the previous administration. However, his counterparts in the House and the Senate aren’t following suit.
The Washington Post has reported that negotiations between House and Senate Democrats have resulted in a stimulus bill with a price tag of “about $789.5 billion.” This agreement raised the ire of Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., and he went outside of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office to express it.
“My name’s Tom Price and I represent the Sixth District of Georgia and [am] the privileged chair of the Republican Study Committee,” Price said. “It’s now noon on Wednesday. I’m standing outside the office of the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. The door is closed. We just heard news break there’s been an agreement between the House and the Senate on the non-stimulus bill.”
Chairman Tom Price discusses the stimulus deal struck between Congressional Democrats and the White House without Republican input or public oversight.
Negotiators were slated to meet later in the day. However, since news of a deal was leaked to the media, Price questioned if there were “shady deals” going on.
“It’s curious because Republicans were invited to a meeting they said at 3 o’clock this afternoon,” Price continued. “What this means is there are more shady deals going on behind closed doors — without the public, without Republicans in attendance.”
The Georgia congressman had also called on congressional leaders to televise the House-Senate negotiations. However, as much as the press has helped the Obama administration trumpet a new era of transparency, there has been little call from the television media for these negotiations to be televised publicly.
“As the House and Senate move to negotiate the final text of the so-called stimulus bill, I have called on Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to make good on that promise and allow any and all House and Senate negotiations to take place in an open and public forum,” Price wrote in a Feb. 11 blog post for Red State. “By allowing television cameras in the room as negotiations take place, we can provide the transparency American taxpayers expect.”