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Cap-and-Trade Speed Read

May 21, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

After seeing the absurd list of amendments Republicans submitted to the American Clean Energy And Security Act during committee markup, it’s pretty obvious that they are going to try to delay the process however they can.

One dilatory tactic Republicans can use would require the full 946-page bill and its 450 Republican-offered amendments to be read aloud in full by committee staff. Generally, the committee dispenses with the section-by-section reading of the bill during the amendment process under a unanimous consent agreement. But if Republicans object to the motion to dispense with the reading of the sections and amendments, the committee has no choice but to proceed with the reading.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats have found a novel solution – they have hired a speed reader as a member of their staff, and he’s standing by, ready to rock the mic if need be. The Wall Street Journal reports:

A committee spokeswoman said the young man, who’s doing door duty at the hearing as he awaits his possible call to the microphone, was hired to help career staff. After years of practice, the panel’s clerks can certainly read rapidly, but she says the speed reader is a lot faster.

“Judging by the size of the amendments, I can read a page about every 34 seconds,” said the newly hired “staff assistant” who declined to give his name. Based on that count, it would take around nine hours to read the entire bill.

Personally, I’m looking forward to the part on hydrochlorofluorocarbons.

UPDATE: This happened:

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