Skype is a practically free video-conferencing service Congress could be using to communicate with constituents, but it is forbidden, so members instead use taxpayer money to conduct video-conferencing without the common application, undoubtedly costing more money and frustration for all parties involved.
The letter, sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Administration Committee Chairman Robert Brady, D-Pa., says that despite strides made for lawmakers to interact with constituents via new media, “barriers remain.”
“Among these barriers is the current House rule prohibiting members of Congress from using certain video-conferencing software applications such as Skype,” says the letter signed by Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio, Republican Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia and others.
The implementation of Skype would no doubt have to overcome some security concerns, but the saved money and connection with constituents is probably worth the security effort. What's better than government problems being solved by free software? More of this, please.