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One-Third of Congress Now on Twitter

(AP Graphics Bank)
Congressional tweeting is on the rise. More and more lawmakers are delving into the social networking scene, relying on sites like Twitter to communicate everything from the melodramatic to the most mundane.

In fact, more than a third of Congress appears to be on Twitter, according to a new report.

For example, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the 73-year-old former presidential candidate (who has admitted to being technologically inept) is now known as a leader over his Congressional colleagues as far as Twitter is concerned. Currently, his 140 character tweets get sent to over 1.7 million followers.

And McCain isn't the only one. More than 200 members of Congress have twitter accounts, the Los Angeles Times reports. Representatives are tweeting more than senators, and Republicans are tweeting more than Democrats.

These numbers come from a report conducted last summer by the Congressional Research Service, which spent 61 days monitoring Congressional use of the newest technological craze. Turns out Wednesday are the most popular day for members of Congress to tweet, and their favorite subject is a trip to their districts.

While some lawmakers use the tool to give congressional updates or comment on the latest news and events, others use it more for the trivial, like holiday plans or book recommendations. Nevertheless, "There is no question that American invention has revolutionized the Congress-constituent relationship," says the Times.

From President Calvin Coolridge's first presidential radio broadcast (1925) to President Harry S. Truman first appearance on television (1947) to John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon squaring off in the first nationally televised debate, politicians have long sought to take advantage of new technology.

Here are some congressional Tweets from the last couple days:

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. (1.7 million followers): At the Republican Leader's request - I'm ready to sit down to do what's right for the American people and START OVER on health care reform!

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio (26,000 followers): From @IBDeditorials: "raising the unemployment rate ... is the only clearly identifiable effect the stimulus act had" http://is.gd/8W6mm.

Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass. (21,000 followers): My thoughts on the Jobs Bill: http://bit.ly/bKvQcb.

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill. (2,500 followers): At Energy and Commerce Hearing on Toyota. I do not serve on either subcommittee but wanted to sit in. We are on openning statements.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. (6,000 followers): The U.S.' lost decade in overseas travel cost us $500 billion. The Travel Promotion Act will get us back on track. http://bit.ly/djfqts.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. (3,000 followers): I will be proud to sponsor a bill to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell http://bit.ly/cTzQnN.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. (4,000 followers): I was on Fox News last night to discuss health care with Greta Van Susteren. Watch the video here. http://bit.ly/9hCzh7

Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn. (4,000 followers): Big day-Robertson/Sumner/Wlmson. Montg-Tues. Jobs 4Tn coming w/my work- production jobs in Manuf/Agri/Trans-infras/Def+Hcare. Proven record.

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn. (11,000 followers): If you don't like the new terms, shop around for a better deal and exercise your new right to opt-out of the changes. http://bit.ly/9W8ttI

Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich. (4,000 followers: On MSNBC at 12:10 today to discuss the White House's deja vu health care plan w @ContessaBrewer #hcr

Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn. (1,000 followers): Credit Cardholder Bill of Rights goes into effect today. Know your rights. There's really good stuff in this law: http://tinyurl.com/yaq5hpy

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. (10,000 followers): 19th Anniversary today. Wow. I'm a lucky guy. Thank you, Julie!

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