Spotted by Howard Mortman from C-SPAN coverage.
UPDATE (12/24/2010): According to TechPresident’s Nancy Scola, iPad’s are coming to the House floor.
So, it looks like, yep, iPads are indeed coming to the floor of the House of Representatives, at least as long as the rules changes proposed by the incoming Republican leadership are adopted as they stand.
In this last Congress, the 111th, the House operated under a rule [pdf] that dictated that no one shall “smoke or use a wireless telephone or personal computer on the floor of the House.” But, according to copy of the proposed rules just posted to the website of the Committee on Rules, that section has been tweaked for the 112th congress to give the Speaker of the House wide discretion in dictating what sort of mobile technologies members and staffers can bring to and use on the floor of the House.
“A person on the floor of the House,” read the new proposed rules, “may not smoke or use a mobile or electronic device that impairs decorum,” italics added. (Raising the possibility, of course, that a good game of Angry Birds might help folks in the House ignore their nicotine cravings.)
“The definition of what is ‘disruptive of decorum’ will likely evolve over time,” writes Brendan Buck in an email, “but of course devices are not to make sound and members are not to be speaking on their phones while on the floor.” However, writes Buck, “if a member wants to read an amendment, for example, on their iPad, that would be allowed.”