Dear Chairmen Schumer and Lungren and Ranking Members Alexander and Brady:
I want to thank you again for the attention you have given to implementing the Capitol Police Board's recommendation to continue to allow commercial filming and photography in Union Square, following the transfer of jurisdiction from the National Park Service to the Architect of the Capitol. In an April 2, 2012, letter, I requested that you consider allowing commercial filming and photography in additional areas with views of the Capitol, such as Independence Avenue on the House side and Constitution Avenue on the Senate side.
The transfer of jurisdiction in the fiscal year 2012 omnibus spending bill did not involve a hearing. I therefore write to request that you hold a hearing to learn the history of the current commercial filming and photography policy and to explore the feasibility of expanding commercial filming and photography beyond Union Square. Security matters, of course, and any security issues could be considered in a closed hearing, but, I believe, that transparency about this issue would be beneficial to Congress and the public alike. Commercial films and photographs of the Capitol, the seat of democracy, are perhaps the best modern vehicle for telling the nation's story and showcasing its democratic system of government.
Thank you for considering this request.
Eleanor Holmes Norton