In the Senate right now, where the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act is being debated, the clerk is reading all 157 pages of the Boxer substitute amendment out loud. Republican senators forced the clerk to do so because, they say, they haven’t had enough time to read it. (Sen. Boxer (D-Calif.) released the amendment two weeks ago.)
What I’d give for an environment in which we expected politicians to say things that made sense. It’s actually quite rare for anyone in congress to read bills in full–they get staffers to summarize them. The federal budget clocks in at thousands of pages and sometimes arrives just a day or two before the vote.