Is the House Financial Services Committee Facebook Page Illegally Promoting Partisan Politics?
Rules governing the operations of the U.S. House of Representatives say committees are barred from putting up partisan messages on their websites. But the House Financial Services Committee appears to be doing just that.
The committee, while Democrats ran the House, was responsible for helping pass the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill. But now that Republicans are in charge, the committee has regularly attacked the law on its web pages.
On the homepage, for example, is a survey visitors can take to see how Dodd-Frank will impact them. The answers, however, are rigged to tell participants that the law is a disaster for them and the entire country, according to Stephen Gandel at Fortune.
“By comparison, the website of the Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs is quite congenial,” writes Gandel.
House rules state that committee websites cannot “Include grassroots lobbying or solicit support for a Member's position.” Gandel notes the site “does seem to break those rules,” while acknowledging “so do lots of other committee websites.”
However, it is unclear if the same rules apply to House committee Facebook pages. In the case of the House Financial Services Committee, its Facebook page includes a photograph of President Barack Obama, the title “BETTER OFF?” and the tag “#WECAN DO BETTER.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
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