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iPads used by House of Representatives officially


Hot on the heels iPad's recent appearance in the U.S. House of Representatives, thanks to congressman Henry Cuellar, Politico reports that the iPad may soon gain formal access to Congress. As it stands, no electronic devices are allowed on the House floor.

A tech-savvy group of incoming group of lawmakers are keen to see the formal rules changed, allowing them to use electronic devices on the House floor, though, according to a House leadership aide, no official decision has been made on the iPad.

House Parliamentarian John Sullivan said, "I would advise the speaker that if an iPad is not being used to play sound a transmitting device, it is allowed."

If the rules are formally changed, the new Congress could see a far-reaching effect in the way members debate, according to U.S. Naval Academy professor Steve Frantzich, a renowned technology and politics expert.

"There will be the ability to have real-time information brought to the floor in a readable, usable format. A member could make a factual statement, and someone with an iPad could say, 'No, your data is two years old.' All of a sudden, you have a member being able to one-up someone speaking on the floor," said Frantzich.

There is also a proposal for legislation to be transmitted electronically to members, instead of printing copies every time. The House currently has a multimillion-dollar printing budget.

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