At The Washington Examiner, Ben Jacobs reports on covering the House floor for a week:

It’s possible I picked a slow week. Perhaps if I sat through another week, I would witness important and substantive things happening. I doubt it, though. Instead, it often felt like I was watching a political pantomime as members acted out the forms of a procedure adopted for a different era of politics. At a time when few, if any, bills are able to be freely amended on the floor, much of the debate felt like archaic formalities carried out for tradition’s sake. No one was persuaded because no one was even there listening. As for the rest, it just felt like fodder to be hopefully clipped for local news, not to mention what [Chip] Roy described as “72 people watching on C-Span” and, of course, myself sitting alone in the press gallery.


But then again, if no one is watching, it’s rational for members to treat what happens on the floor of the House as an afterthought. It’s not as if we live in a world in which oratorical ability or debating skills have been devalued, but the fora where members of Congress are supposed to display their virtuosity is on cable news, not in the well of the House.