House leaders pay homage to C-SPAN on 40th anniversary

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Justices won't fast-track ObamaCare case before election | New virus spreads from China to US | Collins challenger picks up Planned Parenthood endorsement Why Senate Republicans should eagerly call witnesses to testify Trump health chief: 'Not a need' for ObamaCare replacement plan right now MORE (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Cheney's decision not to run for Senate sparks Speaker chatter Mark Mellman: A failure of GOP leadership MORE (R-Calif.) paid homage to C-SPAN on the House floor Tuesday in celebration of the network’s 40th year on air.

Pelosi, who turned 79 on Tuesday, told the chamber she wants to “convey those good wishes” she received from her colleagues “to C-SPAN as well,” applauding the nonprofit public service channel for its role in bringing government transparency and educating its audience on the goings-on of Congress.

“The very first House sessions were made open to the public so that the American people could see our debates and have their voices heard,” she said.

“I rise to honor an institution that powerfully honors that legacy, ensuring that our sessions can be a town hall for the nation — the cable satellite public affairs network, C-SPAN.”

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The California Democrat went on to laud the network for being “a pillar and beacon of unbiased reporting,” adding it plays a pivotal role in ”shining a light on government to keep our leaders honest and accountable.”

McCarthy, after first wishing Pelosi a happy birthday, praised C-SPAN for providing objective coverage, adding he believes it’s an “irreplaceable tool” in carrying out the Founding Fathers’ vision for transparent government.

The Republican lawmaker argued the network’s role is more important than ever, providing the public with a platform where they can form their own opinions.

“Throughout these 40 years of experiences that have changed the culture of history — from the Contract with America to the election of the first woman Speaker, it even captured the light-hearted moments of humor that can make their way into times of very serious debate — C-SPAN captured it all,” he said.

“This is important because of the rise of the internet, and the new media environment has only reinforced the need for C-SPAN's unfiltered coverage and unbiased programming," he added.

C-SPAN first aired on March 19, 1979.