WASHINGTON — Democrats in the House Energy and Commerce Committee have taken a novel precaution to head off Republican efforts to slow action this week on a sweeping climate bill. They are hiring a speed reader.
Republicans on the committee have said they may force the reading of the entire 946-page bill — as well as major amendments that measure several hundred pages — all aloud. This is a procedure lawmakers have a right to invoke. Republicans are largely against the bill, which aims to cut emissions of so-called greenhouse gases by more than 80% over the next half-century but would be costly.
Republicans haven’t tried the tactic, but Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D., Calif.) is prepared.
A committee spokeswoman said the speed reader — a young man who was on door duty at the hearing as he awaited a call to the microphone — was hired to help staffers. After years of practice, the panel’s clerks can read at a good clip. But the speed reader is a lot faster, she said.
As fast as he is at reading, I bet he can’t read as fast as President Obama can spend.