A few years back my friends and I started a book group. The book that really killed it was [book: The Years of Rice and Salt]. I won't revisit the horror except to say it was very bad. I tell you this because it was by the same author as this book. But this one sounded interesting so I gave it a shot.
It reminded me very much of [book: Next] by Michael Crichton. It was not quite as bad, but the lecturing tone was much the same. The major problem with this book (besides that the action doesn't start until about the last four chapters) is that nearly the entire first 3/4 of the book is a series of thinly disguised "as you know Bob" vignettes.
Also, even if one of your main characters is a Senate staffer, very, very few people actually want to wade through even a few paragraphs of a bill. The bill may be monumentally important, but the text is dry and will appeal only to a few scientists and policy wonks.
The whole thing read like a series of mini lectures by a not very interesting or good professor. It's possible it was all required to set up the next two books. The end was promising enough that I'll read the next book.