House Number

I'm watching C-Span…watching speeches that precede a vote on the "Fiscal Cliff" bill in, allegedly, the next hour.

Is there any record of any of these speeches ever influencing a vote? Or of even being heard by most folks who will be voting?

Yes, yes…I understand that it's just posturing for the press and for constituents. But has it ever been anything more than that?

I also wonder whether they ever impress constituents or mollify those who might be angry about the vote. Half these reps seem to be reading speeches someone else has prepared…and a few look like they're reading them for the first time. The ones who aren't reading are rambling. Rep. David Dreier was just telling a story about one of his college professors and it seemed to have the scantest relevance to the bill at hand. Rep. Jared Pols is now congratulating all his colleagues who are there today to vote.

Maybe if they got rid of stuff like this, they'd have gotten to this important vote before the last minute.