The top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce committee, Texas Rep. Joe Barton, has been threatening to force the committee clerk to read the 900-plus page bill as a way to drag out the markup of the Democrats' climate change legislation. Worried that this could jeopardize his goal of voting the bill out of committee before the Memorial Day break, Democratic Chairman Henry Waxman of California hired a speed reader, in case one was needed to publicly race through the massive bill.
Barton decided not to follow through on his threat - but he wanted to find out what a speed reader sounded like. He requested that one of the Republican amendments be read in full, and asked that the new hire take over for the full time committee clerk. Waxman obliged, and Douglas Wilder sat before the committee and began reading rapidly. He spoke so quickly it was impossible to decipher his words, as listeners began to laugh and applaud.
Barton decided he'd heard enough, and said he didn't need to finish. He then joked with Waxman, that since he went to all that trouble, "we should at least get the benefit of the gentleman's expertise." Smiling, Waxman asked Wilder to state his name and asked if he was available for hire. Wilder enthusiastically told the committee: "yes!"
Is this really how they spend their time and our money?
This, this is how they are spending our money? Would they please stop screwing around and do some work?! If he has never heard a speed reader then go to youTube like everyone else.
this is what our tax dollars pay for; lots of fun fun fun
I wonder who paid for the speed reader...I am betting it was the American taxpayer.
It's nice to know that people think it's a joke that lawmakers should read the bills before they vote on them.
The need to pass the read the bills act, as well as the one law at a time act, but I doubt it will happen; can't do anything that would make too much sense
Lovely – Let's keep passing laws without reading the bills! What the hell is going on here???
why didn't the democrats bring in a speed reader to go through the spendulous bill in order to bring transparency to that 1.7 trillion dollar piece of crap. you democrats do remember obama said he would allow time for people to read the legislation before he signed it. in this case he only allowed hours.
this is completely NOT what this country was founded for
Did the framers and after engage in circus like this... absolutely... is it a waste of time, money and shake the faith of the public... absolutely
the only good thing, the Rubs and Dems laughed together
How sad! Yet more Republican clowning, with the same effect as having Dick Cheney train them in how to shoot themselves in their feet
this is stupid.
What a mockery of our govt. It now seems it is 'wrong' to want legislation read. After the tarp and stimulus, you'd think they'd have learned.
Funny how every single bill introduced must be passed in record speed so that the president can then take his sweet time in signing it.
From a fellow Texan, Barton sucks.
wow for as smart as all think Liberals are you would have to assume that these senile old blow hards could read there own environmental bill that is going to destroy what's left of the U.S. industry...... priceless....
Are speed readers sort of like Obama's teleprompter?
I think so, I also think Waxman - a U.S. Senator - should have the capacity to READ a bill on his own!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But what do I know! I'm just an average American who manages to muddle through the day on her own, reading all t he stuff that comes her way WITHOUT "speed readers"!
What a joke as is all our politcians. Time to boot them all out regardless of party.
Does it actually classify as being read into committee if no one can understand it? The news report indicates that it was impossible to decipher.
I smell as "substance over form" argument brewing here against future use.
I do not understand how our Congress can pass a bill, whether 900 pages or 9,000 pages without reading it. This has come up before. We elect our Congressmen & women & Senators to help the President rule and protect our country and it seems to me we have a circus with Rep Barton being the biggest clown.
Our country is in such a miserable mess and it seems to me everyone should be buckling down and working together to help get it straightened out. I cannot even imagine the money and time wasted in Washington.
Ahhh, the obstructionist attitude outsmarted by Waxman. Way to go, man!
Yes, Democrats gave a good idea to repugs, again!
a speed reader? really, am i the only one who just doesn't GET this?
what a travesty for the American people. The republican didn't want to pass the bill before reading...but the liberal pukes like Waxman will rubber stamp anything..
We as tax payers shouldn't stand for this. Liberals, this is your doing, you elected these idiots like Waxman...reap what you sow.
its good to see some bipartisan humanity if even for a short time