Pass The Remote

The headline you likely saw out of Friday’s House activity was that the chamber has now given itself the go-ahead for proxy voting.

But that wasn’t the only procedural change lawmakers greenlit. They also authorized committees to hold remote hearings.

“Wait,” you may be thinking. “Lawmakers have been virtually hearing testimony from witnesses for a while now. What gives?”

That’s because up until now, the House has been skirting the ban on remote hearings by holding remote “briefings” instead.

Though there isn’t a ton of difference between the two, the distinction has meant witnesses couldn’t be placed under oath, and their testimony hasn’t resulted in a formal hearing report.

Now that the House has the all clear to hold remote hearings, a new question emerges: When will in-person hearings resume?

It’s still too soon to say, but the chatter we’re picking up is that some House panels are debating going forward with live hearings soon, even if the full chamber isn’t in session.