Reading Clerk of the United States House of Representatives

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The Reading Clerk of the United States House of Representatives reads bills, motions, and other papers before the House and keeps track of changes to legislation made on the floor. During the vote for Speaker at the beginning of each Congress, or when the electronic voting system fails, the clerk calls the roll of members for a recorded vote.

Traditionally, the reading clerks are appointed by the leaders of the majority and minority parties. For instance, Paul Hays was appointed by the then-Minority Leader Robert H. Michel, for the Republican party. Beyond this procedure for appointment, the party status has no significance.

Reading clerks work for the Office of Legislative Operations, one of nine offices that fall under the jurisdiction of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives.



Reading Clerk Term
Patrick Joseph Haltigan 1911–1936
Meg Goetz 1981–1998
Mary Kevin Niland 1998–2008
Jaime Zapata 2008–2009
Joe Novotny[1] 2010–present


Reading Clerk Term
Joe Bartlett 1955–1971
Bob Berry 1971–1987
Paul Hays 1988–2007
Susan Cole[2] 2007–present


  1. ^ "First openly gay U.S. House reading clerk relishes role". Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights. Retrieved 2016-04-16.
  2. ^ "Susan Cole to give commencement address at APSU". Clarksville, TN Online. 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2016-04-16.

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