Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) introduced a bill on Thursday requiring the White House to provide at least two on-camera press briefings per week.
The bill, called the "Free Press Act," requires the White House to provide at least two press briefings each week and requires that those briefings be video recorded, according to a press release.
“President Trump has displayed an overtly hostile attitude toward the press since the early days of the presidential campaign,” said Himes. Aggressiveness toward reporters was a hallmark of many Trump rallies, where it was common for members of the media to be threatened and intimidated.
"This simple bill achieves two important goals," Himes continued. "First, it ensures that the press briefings will continue on a regular schedule. Second, it guarantees the American people have access to the proceedings first hand."
“A free and independent press is essential to the survival of a functioning democracy,” he added. “The media’s role is to ask the tough questions on behalf of the American public and work to hold our leaders accountable. I hope this bill helps push back on the efforts of this, or any, administration to suppress this necessary reporting.”
White House press briefings have been occurring less frequently in recent weeks after being an almost-daily occurrence in the first few months of the administration.
On-camera briefings are particularly less frequent, with the last one occurring on June 27.
Former White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer, who served under President George W. Bush, and Mike McCurry, who served under President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonThe Memo: Powell ended up on losing side of GOP fight A pandemic of hyper-hypocrisy is infecting American politics Is Wall Street serving its own interests by supporting China's? MORE, both advocate for abandoning on-camera press briefings due to the theatrics that come with it, stating it's "better for the public."
We support no live TV coverage of WH briefing. Embargo it & let it be used, but not as live TV. Better for the public, the WH & the press.— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) June 28, 2017
We support no live TV coverage of WH briefing. Embargo it & let it be used, but not as live TV. Better for the public, the WH & the press.— Mike McCurry (@mmccurry) June 28, 2017