Thursday, May 21, 2009

Speed reading a Bill?

Yes. The CLIMATE BILL that is going to be voted on, WILL be read in Committee......BY A SPEED READER. To our congressional representatives who are supposed to read the damn thing themselves! Or at least I was under the (mistaken) impression they would read them.

This is the very Climate Bill that will tell you how to live your life from now on: what to drive, how far to drive, how much electricity/gas/water you will be allowed to use & how you can use it, or whatever.

I don't actually know what is in the Bill or Amendments -- in that respect I am on par with my own representatives. I would like to actually know what is in the Bill -- in that respect I am not on par with my reps. They do not want to know what is in the Bill. They simply do not care. They just want to vote.

Democrats claim Republicans want to slow down this vote by (shocking new idea coming) ACTUALLY READING & DISCUSSING the Bill & ALL Amendments. So, the dems hired a SPEED READER to read the Bill & Amendments so it cannot be said they did not read it all before calling for a vote.

How the heck can they vote on something that was read to them - at lightening speed - instead of reading it themselves? Is this what they were elected to do?

Is this the way most of them will be able to use deniability when they are campaigning again? "Oh, gee. I must have missed that when the speed reader went over it. Wow. It went by so fast I can't be expected to know every detail."

Oh, sure. I believe you! Just show me where to mark to vote for you again! (this is sarcasm in case you are wondering)

ANY representative who has a Bill in front of them that is read aloud by a SPEED READER should be blasted with calls, emails, letters & faxes demanding their resignation. NOW!

Just in case you think I am making this up, or kidding, read the following from the Wall Street Journal:

Need for Speed (Read) to Pass Climate Bill

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.

"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 estimate, it would take him about nine hours.

It took the committee more than two hours Tuesday to debate and vote on the first proposed amendment. By the time Capitol Hill interns finally left for tacos and happy-hour drinks at the local Mexican restaurant, the panel had approved just three amendments. Among them was a proposal to give government subsidies to people who trade in old cars or trucks for new, more efficient ones.

Mr. Waxman has said he still hopes to finish the bill by Thursday, meeting his goal of moving the climate bill out of committee by Memorial Day.

"He's dreaming. It ain't going to happen," said Texas Rep. Joe Barton, the panel's ranking Republican. He added that Republicans "have 400 amendments that we could offer, but there are at least 75-80 that we almost have to offer."

Write to Ian Talley at

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