Mobile devices to be allowed on House floor

Under new House rules, members next year will be able to use their BlackBerrys, iPads and iPhones on the House floor.

Use of the devices was previously banned on the House floor, but incoming Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) wants to ease restrictions on the devices.

“A person on the floor of the House … may not smoke or use a mobile or electronic device that impairs decorum,” a set of proposed proposed new rules say, according to

Several members have been caught tapping away on their mobile devices over the past few years, but now the activity could be sanctioned.

Though the language in the rules is vague, a House GOP leadership spokesman told techPresident that they are intended to allow members to use their ubiquitous BlackBerrys and iPads on the floor in a responsible manner (i.e. no games).

“The definition of what is ‘disruptive of decorum’ will likely evolve over time,” Brendan Buck told techPresident. “But of course devices are not to make sound and members are not to be speaking on their phones while on the floor.”

But Buck explained that, “If a member wants to read an amendment, for example, on their iPad, that would be allowed.”

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