Give Me Twittering, Or Give Me Death

Members of the House Administration Committee are considering new rules that, opponents say, would rob representatives of their ability to use a growing number of Web 2.0 tools to communicate with constituents - - tools like the micro-blogging service Twitter and video-sharing site YouTube.

This particularly irks U.S. Rep. John Culberson, a Houston Republican, who lists more than 800 followers of his comments on Twitter - - some of which are written on the House floor itself. Culberson provided hour-by-hour updates Tuesday of the controversy on Twitter itself, and protested, "They want to require prior approval of all posts to any public social media/internet/www site by any member of Congress!!! Before I could post a Tweet I would have to get approval of the twits that run the House!"

He added, via Twitter, "The rule proposed by the Dems would require me to submit this Tweet to the House Franking Comm for prior approval before I cuold post it." (Posts to Twitter can be entered via the Web, via mobile device or via SMS Text messaging, making it a handy way to push out micro-blog items on a quick and continuous basis.)

His office also put out this statement on Culberson's official House of Representatives Web site, quoting Republican Minority Leader John Boehner as saying:

Sponsored post

Kyle Anderson, a spokesman for the committee, acknoweldged during a brief conversation that a proposal is under way to limit the use by congressmen of commercial web sites for communication, saying that "taxpayer money can't be used to support commercial web sites."

YouTube is owned by Google, and contains all manner of videos - - controversial to the mundane - - and it also sells advertising. Twitter, though, has become more of a service - - a sort of dial-tone for micro-blogging.

The House of Representatives Committee on House Administration is usually in charge of much more low-key issues, such as how many constituent mailings each representative can send, or how to maintain House constituent email services.