Republicans plan to lift the ban on the use of electronic gadgets like the iPad, iPhone and BlackBerry on the House floor. Now our lawmakers can check their Facebook and update their Twitter during those filibustering times.
More seriously though, the new rule hopes that lawmakers would use these devices to look up information regarding the issue at hand, like checking the text of a bill, checking facts, or keeping up with the news on the day. The Republicans say:
"Mr. Boehner [Speaker of the House]has deep respect for the institution and its traditions. This is not free licence to Skype or pay bills online. But we recognise that people consume information electronically these days. It's just silly that the House wouldn't accommodate that."
The Senate has no plans to introduce electronic device usage, but both houses have a sorta "wink and nod" deal to allow use on the sly. What're the chances a Representative tweets something he regrets during legislation? [NY Times]