Anybody watching the tedious markup of the Waxman-Markey clean energy and climate bill, saw a rare moment of bipartisan levity:
[Note: If a typical flash-in-the-pan gets 15 minutes of fame, it’s only right that a speed reader get two minutes of fame.]
TPM explains why Waxman had a speed reader on hand in the first place:
Earlier today, we reported that Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have taken an extraordinary measure to combat nefarious Republican stall tactics. Faced with the possibility that the GOP minority might require the committee’s clerks to read aloud the 900-page Waxman-Markey climate change bill, or many of its 400-plus proposed amendments, the committee’s chairman, Henry Waxman (D-CA), hired a speed reader. An quick tongued, acting-clerk, if you will.
His services may ultimately not be necessary, but earlier today, to break the tension between battling factions, the committee’s ranking member Joe Barton (R-TX) asked the “speed reader clerk” to read part of one measly little amendment.
How long would it have taken for him to read the entire bill? For the record, the WSJ reports:
“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.