April 9, 2013
This post has been updated.
The official launch of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s Twitter account on Tuesday brought the percentage of tweeting Senate standing committees to just less than 50 percent.
Homeland Security Chairman Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., officially unveiled the Twitter account and a new committee Facebook profile in a press release Tuesday, though staffers have been tweeting from the account since early March. Carper inherited the chairmanship early this year after former Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., retired.
With the addition of Homeland Security, seven of the Senate’s 16 standing committees now have accounts verified by Twitter.
A few committees without official accounts -- including the Banking and Armed Services panels-- have verified accounts managed by their Republican minorities.
To some extent this is a matter of optics. Every U.S. senator had a twitter account as of the opening of the 113th Congress in January, including the chairmen and chairwomen of every committee whose press staffers would typically manage committee Twitter and Facebook accounts. (Committee webpages are typically run on a bipartisan basis).
It’s also about convenience, though. Logging onto Twitter means being hit with a fire hose of information. The biggest challenge for any Twitter consumer is to divert a few small streams from that fire hose that he can make sense of.
A committee account allows someone who cares about Homeland Security issues, for instance, to just get tweets relevant to that committee’s work without having to filter out Carper’s views on other issues, his work on constituent services or his admiration for the Detroit Tigers.
Senate standing committees with verified Twitter accounts run by the majority are:
Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
Budget (minority account)
Energy and Natural Resources (minority account)
Finance (minority account)
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Those that lack them are:
Armed Services (minority account)
Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (minority account)
Commerce, Science, and Transportation
Environment and Public Works
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (minority account)
Rules and Administration
Small Business and Entrepreneurship
April 9, 2013