Lawmaker tweets from House floor thanks to new rules

At least one lawmaker used the new rules in the House to tweet from the House's floor.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) sent dispatches from the House floor, taking advantage of new rules — which, at that point, had not yet been approved — allowing members to use BlackBerrys and other electronic devices in the chamber.

Ros-Lehtinen dispatched several tweets, one of which included a photo, proving that she was tweeting from the floor:

Speaker Pelosi hands over the gavel to Speaker Boehner: hurrah!!! http://yfrog.com/h096367147j

The Republican-led change in rules lifted a previous ban on the use of electronic devices on the floor. The rules change would allow lawmakers to use a BlackBerry, iPod, iPhone or other device while sitting in the chamber, as long as they don't "impair decorum." This likely means that phone calls from the floor wouldn't be permitted.

Ros-Lehtinen was the only lawmaker to obviously tweet from the floor, due to the picture she included. Other members' Twitter accounts were active during this afternoon's swearing-in, though it wasn't necessarily clear whether lawmakers themselves or staff members off the floor were updating the accounts.

However, the new rule opens the door to live-tweeting of proceedings, especially during some marathon votes or debates that have been known to take place in the House.

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