GETTING THE WORDS RIGHT: OUR NATION'S COURT REPORTERS AND HOUSE CLERKS; Congressional Record Vol. 162, No. 32
(Extensions of Remarks - February 29, 2016)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E246-E247]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




 GETTING THE WORDS RIGHT: OUR NATION'S COURT REPORTERS AND HOUSE CLERKS

                                 ______
                                 

                              HON. TED POE

                                of texas

                    in the house of representatives

                       Monday, February 29, 2016

  Mr. POE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, the backbone of the court system, 
courtroom reporters make sure that the system works efficiently. Tasked 
with keeping complete, accurate and secure records, courtroom reporters 
handle verbatim documentation of criminal, civil or other court 
proceedings.
   These individuals are highly skilled and trained in court reporting, 
which usually involves stenography. Reporting for the courts involves 
taking records of court proceedings, depositions, and administrative 
hearings, among other things.
   They record everything that is being said in the courtroom by 
judges, witnesses, attorneys or other parties, as well as gestures and 
emotional reactions that accompany any statements.
   While taking shorthand notes, they must accurately capture the 
spoken word. This does not mean paraphrasing or capturing every other 
word. Reporters must capture each word verbatim, with correct spelling 
and punctuation, despite the speed in which individuals are talking. 
After the hearing is over, they then must transcribe their notes into a 
readable, workable format for the public record.
   Sometimes, a court reporter's work benefits those with special 
needs, such as the deaf or hard of hearing. Court reporters can even 
provide closed captioning or a real-time translation of spoken words.
   During my 22 years as a judge in Texas, I had many court reporters 
who capably kept records of every word said in the courtroom. Being a 
court reporter is no easy feat, stressors come from every direction 
including security issues and daily deadlines.
   In the House of Representatives, we have clerks who help us and our 
staff every day. These individuals serve as the congressional 
stenographers, working diligently, day in and day out. These 
individuals take notes on congressional hearings and floor debate, 
speeches and statements. They then work extremely fast to enter all the 
statements into the Congressional Record.
   Every single entry must be completely correct. Each statement made 
goes on the record in congressional history. These individuals' work 
ensures that history is written correctly. Without their diligence we 
would not be able to do our jobs as efficiently.
   These highly trained and talented men and women work tenaciously to 
record correctly the proceedings of the court system as well as 
Congress.
   Court reporters and floor clerks are truly a vital asset to judges 
and Members of Congress. We thank them for getting the words right.
   And that's just the way it is.

[[Page E247]]

  

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