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

House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Threat of impeachment takes oxygen out of 2019 agenda Trump denies 'tantrum' in meeting with Pelosi: 'It is all such a lie!' MORE (D-Calif.) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes No agreement on budget caps in sight ahead of Memorial Day recess Republican strategist says an Amash presidential bid wouldn't result in 'any real political gain' 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.