Friday, July 19, 2002

Luddite-line: The U.S. Senate

In 1997 Mike Enzi asked if he could bring his laptop to work in the US Senate. They said no. To be more precise, according to USA TODAY:

The Rules Committee deliberated over six months, held three hearings and delivered a 47-page report. The judgment: no laptops on the Senate floor.

Last month Enzi asked again. The Committee on Rules and Administration said they'd take it up at the next meeting, though they don't have a meeting planned. The chairman of the committee is Chris Dodd and the Ranking Member [sic] is Mitch McConnell.

Note the story cited above is primarily about another technidiot rule of the Senate, which is that a Senator's official website cannot be updated within 60 days of primary and general elections.

Meanwhile, the Senate just started it's transition from cc:Mail to a Microsoft email system. Fortunately they have policies in order, so that their cutting edge technologies won't be abused: "[Gopher] is only be used for official purposes". *phew*! :-)

Following up on this I took a look at the House's site to try and discern where they stood on laptops on the floor (or didn't. you know what I mean!). The House also doesn't allow them on the floor, but according to this April 2001 report they seem much more tech-savvy (mentioning a planned Blackberry 'pilot project/test', for instance). Another document on the House site (which is undated and frighteningly unattributed) mentions that 35 of the State legislatures DO currently allow laptops in their "Chambers". But [see page 24] the document also points out some valid differences between the States and the US Congress (like the USC's lack of assigned seating[!]). Okay, enough of this. !!!!!!!

No comments: