Republicans are targeting 40-50 House Democrats in their efforts to open up healthcare bill negotiations to the media.
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) said that GOP leaders would push hard the next two weeks to get 218 signatures in support of a discharge petition that would subject closed-door negotiations on the health bill by Democrats to C-SPAN's television cameras.
"I hope to get Democrats just as involved as Republicans," Buchanan told reporters at the Capitol on Wednesday. "We're going to work it really hard. I think we have a lot of friends on the other side who are open."
Republicans seized on a letter from C-SPAN, the nonpartisan congressional TV network, asking Democratic leaders to televise healthcare negotiations, mirroring President Barack Obama's campaign trail promises.'
Democrats have rejected calls for television access.
GOP leaders ducked questions about whether or not they would open similar meetings to the public if they were to take back control of Congress. House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) did say, though, that the GOP has discussed and may open one of its caucus meetings to the media this year.
Buchanan, who's in his second term in Congress, said it was his personal hope that such a "sunshine" rule would apply to both Democrats and Republicans going forward.
"It's my second term; I'm just trying to do what I think is right," he said. "I personally think it should be for Republicans and Democrats and everybody."