Lawmaker: Screening of Koch film may break House rules - Brave New Films
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Lawmaker: Screening of Koch film may break House rules

By Fredreka Schouten for USA Today.

Plans by top Democrats to highlight a film critical of the billionaire Koch brothers at the Capitol Visitors Center this week may violate House rules and should be reconsidered, according to the head of the House committee that oversees the day-to-day running of the chamber.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are slated to appear at a congressional press briefing Tuesday evening where parts of “Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition” will be shown, according to an invitation.

In a Monday letter to Pelosi, Rep. Candace Miller, the Michigan Republican who chairs the House Administration Committee, argued the event “may cross the line into partisan politics” and could amount to an inappropriate use of taxpayer-funded facilities. She notes that film’s producers also are seeking donations on the website that promotes documentary.

The show will go on, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hamill said Monday.

Lawmakers never intended to screen the entire film but plan to show clips of it during a news conference, he said. He also noted that the film was created by a non-profit organization.

“The fact that Chairwoman Miller wrote this letter demonstrates the reach of the Koch brothers into our government and why there is a need for the public to be more fully informed of their activities,” Hamill said.

The dust-up is the latest skirmish between Democrats and Republicans over the industrialists Charles Koch and David Koch, who have poured millions into politics to help conservative candidates and causes. Led by Reid, Democrats have repeatedly lambasted them publicly ahead of November’s elections that will determine which political party controls the Senate.