Cameras in House Rules Committee Make McGovern Squeemish

House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA) had a wish: if Republicans reclaimed control of the House, he'd install cameras in the Rules Committee hearing room.

And the cameras were present Wednesday evening as the Rules panel met for its first organizational session to launch the 112th Congress.

Numerous other House committees have featured cameras for years. To make matters worse, when C-SPAN, FOX or any other TV outlet cared to televise Rules Committee proceedings, aides would have to fling open a door to a supply closet at the back of the hearing room. The camera operator would then squeeze inside the closet amid reams of paper and boxes of staples.

This was necessary because the Rules Committee hearing room features bandbox dimensions. It's by far the smallest of any major House panel. It barely has enough room for aides and witnesses, let alone cameras.

For Wednesday's session, a pair of metal struts jutted out from the back wall of the Rules Committee. Each supporting a large, robotic camera aimed at the dais.

A third camera was positioned in front, pointed at the witness table.

The presence of the cameras seemed to rattle Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA).

"I feel like I'm going through a medical exam," McGovern said during the meeting, gesturing at the cameras.

"I don't want to see the results of that," quipped Dreier in response, drawing laughter from the crowd.