U.S. Rep. Ted Poe almost always gets the first word in Congress

U.S. Rep. Ted Poe almost always gets the first word in Congress

News_Ted Poe_March 2011
U.S. Rep. Ted Poe is a C-Span fave. Courtesy of C-Span

All politicians love to talk, but U.S. Rep. Ted Poe may be setting a record.

A profile of Poe in The New York Times notes that in the last few years the four-term Texas congressman has clocked more time on the House floor than any colleagues in either political party, according to C-Span data.

During the last Congress, he  addressed the chamber on 234 of the 317 days that the House was in session. He usually speaks the first thing in the morning, right after the invocation, when the House has a first-come-first-to-speak system.

The speeches are short — usually about one minute — and cover such disparate topics as energy policy, foreign aid (he's against it),  the 400th anniversary of the translation of the King James Bible and crime (Poe was a former Houston prosecutor and judge known for metering out unusual sentences.) The Times writes:

When possible, I want to be the first thing that is said on the House floor each day,” said Mr. Poe, whose office resembles a visitor’s center for Texas’ Second Congressional District, which snakes from the northern suburbs of Houston to the Louisiana border. His goal, he said, is to “set the tone” for the day, which, frankly speaking, may or may not be successful.

Poe always ends his short speeches by declaring, “And that’s just the way it is!”

If he ever tires of politics, sounds like Poe could become the next Paul Harvey.