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.
From the WSJ. Link here.
Edit 4/14: I just noticed I was getting a lot of traffic from debaters on this point, and want to note that I don’t actually know that the staff assistant was a former debater. But without commenting on the specific size of the bill, I think it would be very strange if a speed reader were not at least a former debater on the high school policy circuit or the college NDT/CEDA circuit. I can think of no other activity that trains for such a skill.