Today's Congress, along with the New York State Assembly and Senate, could learn much from the late Sen. James A. McClure (R-Idaho). His claim to fame on Capitol Hill was reading every word of every bill before voting on it.

Concerning the $127-billion transportation and student loan package that just passed ["Help for roads and students," News, June 30], did members of Congress take an Evelyn Wood speed reading class to absorb the 599 pages of the bill?

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Congress reportedly received this legislation just hours before being asked to vote on it. Only the congressional staff members who actually wrote the fine print could have had any true idea of the hundreds of details buried in the actual contents.

Liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, we would all be better off if members of Congress took the time to read, line by line, any proposed legislation before voting. The same applies to members of the New York State Assembly and Senate. Their legislative actions affect both our economic and civil liberties. Future generations may have to pay for and live with the consequences -- good and bad.

Larry Penner, Great Neck