House panel enters 'new world'

House International Relations Committee

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"Wiring Congress"

The House International Relations Committee went live Wednesday via the Internet in the first of what will be regular Webcasts of the committee's public hearings.

"It's the new world now, folks," a committee spokesman said.

The committee heard testimony from Secretary of State Colin Powell, who answered questions on foreign policy but, in his prepared remarks, underscored the State Department's need for increased spending on infrastructure, including information technology.

In addition to broadcasting its meetings via Webcasts, the committee will immediately post prepared testimony on its Web site. However, transcripts of the question-and-answer sessions will take months to be posted because committee members reserve the right to add to their remarks even after the hearing, said the spokesman.

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