Congress ‘stuck in the mud’ over teleconferencing

The GOP is leaning on the Federal Communications Commission to permit the use of Skype for calls on congressional computers, according to Politico.

A recent FCC post on Twitter — which urged consumers to try the free video service to save money and minutes each month, has rallied House Republicans. The GOP argues if this mentality was applied to the House, lawmakers could utilize a cheaper way to teleconference with constituents via Web video.

“While Americans are communicating in more direct and innovative ways every day, this Congress, as usual, is stuck in the mud,” Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), a member of the House Administration Committee tells Politico.

“Unless [speaker Nancy Pelosi] has some reason to contradict the Administration on this issue, she should let Americans speak with those who represent them through this secure and increasingly popular medium.”

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Skype was originally designated as an “unauthorized” website by House Democrats out of fears it could pose a cybersecurity risk to computers. But those fears may be waning as Democratic leaders have intimated they would explore lifting the ban.

It would take a vote from the Administration Committee to lift the ban — and it’s unclear on whether or when it might do so.

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