Reading Clerks of the United States House of Representatives

Susan Cole
since 2007

Tylease Alli
since 2021
United States House of Representatives
Office of Legislative Operations
Inaugural holderEdward W. Barber (Democratic)
William K. Mehaffey (Republican)

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
Edward W. Barber 1863–1869
Charles N. Clisbee 1869–1875
T. O. Walker 1883–1885
Thomas S. Pettit 1875–1881
John A. Reeve 1889–1893
E. L. Lampson 1895–1911
Patrick Joseph Haltigan 1911–1937
Roger M. Calloway 1937–1943
George J. Maurer 1943–1965
Charles W. Hackney Jr. 1965–1981
Meg Goetz 1981–1998
Mary Kevin Niland 1998–2008
Jaime Zapata 2008–2009
Joe Novotny[1] 2010–2021
Tylease Alli[2] 2021–present


Reading Clerk Term
William K. Mehaffey 1867–1875
Neill S. Brown Jr. 1875–1889
Azro J. Maxham 1889–1891
James C. Broadwell 1891–1893
R. S. Hatcher 1895–1897
Dennis E. Alward 1897–1911
H. Martin Williams 1911–1919
Alney E. Chaffee 1919–1957
Joe Bartlett 1957–1978
Bob Berry 1978–1987
Paul Hays 1988–2007
Susan Cole[3] 2007–present


  1. ^ "First openly gay U.S. House reading clerk relishes role". Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights. March 8, 2010. Retrieved 2016-04-16.
  2. ^ "Bowie Resident Appointed as U.S. House Reading Clerk". Maryland Matters. March 5, 2021. Retrieved 2021-03-09.
  3. ^ "Susan Cole to give commencement address at APSU". Clarksville, TN Online. 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2016-04-16.