Members snap photos of pope from the House floor

Members snap photos of pope from the House floor
© Greg Nash

Some lawmakers couldn’t help but snap pictures from the House floor Thursday during Pope Francis’ historic speech to Congress.

Nearly a dozen members quickly tweeted pictures of themselves and colleagues waiting for the speech, and some others were spotted snapping pictures during the address, despite decorum rules that generally prohibit photography in the chamber.


The largely unenforced rule can be traced back to the “Rules of the House of Representatives” that prohibit people on the floor from smoking or using a “mobile electronic device that impairs decorum.” With the increasing use of mobile phones, the rules have been relaxed, allowing press to take electronic devices into the gallery, but a general prohibition on photos still remains.

Some members have scoffed at rules as being outdated. And during big moments — especially during swearing in ceremonies at the beginning of Congress — lawmakers take wide latitude.

While some like Reps. Karen BassKaren Ruth BassCBC marks 400th anniversary of slaves' arrival in US Senate could protect girls from sexual exploitation — but will it? King incites furor with abortion, rape and incest remarks MORE (D-Calif.) and Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) tweeted pictures of the pope speaking, others, such as Rep. Lois FrankelLois Jane FrankelDemocrats call on House committees to probe Epstein's 2008 'sweetheart deal,' suicide Democratic Women's Caucus calls for investigation into Epstein plea deal Epstein death sparks questions for federal government MORE (D-Fla.), snapped pictures posing with colleagues ahead of the address. Others, including Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), tweeted pictures of the gallery, where Kentucky head coach John Calipari was sitting.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) appeared to quickly delete a photo of him “joining my friends and fellow representatives in welcoming Pope Francis to the House floor.” Others tweeting photos from the floor included Sen. Jerry MoranGerald (Jerry) MoranPompeo pressed on possible Senate run by Kansas media Jerry Moran: 'I wouldn't be surprised' if Pompeo ran for Senate in Kansas Senators introduce bill aimed at protecting Olympic athletes in response to abuse scandals MORE (R-Kan.) and Reps. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) and Chellie Pingree (D-Minn.).