Remember when Pelosi said Congress had to pass Obamacare so that they could find out what was in Obamacare?
Republican Senator Johnson is NOT letting that happen again.
It is clear that Americans need help.
Many Americans are suffering from the pandemic through no fault of their own.
However, Democrats have shoved pork into the COVID-19 stimulus bill.
Senator Johnson is now forcing Senate Democrats to recognize that.
In a stunning move, Johnson forced the entire 628-page COVID-19 bill to be read OUT LOUD on the Senate floor!
Shouldn’t we do this with every bill?!
More details below:
— The Hill (@thehill) March 5, 2021
After Senate opens debate on a 51-50 vote, Ron Johnson forces the Senate clerks to read the 628-page bill. Could take anywhere from 8-10 hours, senators estimate
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 4, 2021
NEW: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) forces the Senate clerks to read the 628-page COVID-19 relief bill after the Senate voted 51-50 to begin debate.
Debate on the legislation could now be delayed for up 10 hours.
— Jenn Franco KESQ (@jennfranconews) March 4, 2021
Apparently some Democrats don’t want you to know what is in the bill.
Shouldn’t we have a right to know what is in the bill?
And shouldn’t Senators have to know what they’re voting for?
Here is how Bernie Sanders chose to use the issue to attack Republicans:
In the midst of the worst economic, healthcare and educational crises in the modern history of our country, when we need to respond with urgency, the Republicans are now wasting 5 hours on the Senate floor by forcing the reading of the 628-page American Rescue Plan.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) March 4, 2021
Perhaps Sanders should actually READ the bill before coming to its full-throated defense.
The New York Times confirms that all actions have been halted until the reading is complete:
With President Biden’s nearly $2 trillion stimulus bill moving toward passage, Senator Ron Johnson brought proceedings to a halt on Thursday by demanding that Senate clerks recite the 628-page plan word by word, delaying action to register his objections.
The maneuver by Mr. Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, was unlikely to change any minds about the sweeping pandemic aid plan, which would deliver hundreds of billions of dollars for vaccine distribution, schools, jobless aid, direct payments to Americans and small business relief, and has broad bipartisan support among voters. Republicans signaled that they would be unified against it, and Democrats were ready to push it through on their own, using a special fast-track process to blow past the opposition.
But in the Senate, where even the most mundane tasks are subject to arcane rules, any senator can exploit them to cause havoc. The exercise was Republicans’ latest effort to score political points against a measure they were powerless to stop and to punish Democrats with a time-consuming, boredom-inducing chore.
“Is he allowed?” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, muttered quietly when Mr. Johnson tried to explain after demanding the reading.
And the reading — without Mr. Johnson’s explanation — continued.
Mr. Johnson did not perform the task himself, though. Instead, it fell to John Merlino, the Senate legislative clerk whose high tenor is known to avid watchers of C-SPAN 2, and a small team of his colleagues who took turns reading to lighten the load.
“It will accomplish little more than a few sore throats for the Senate clerks, who work very hard, day in, day out, to help the Senate function,” Mr. Schumer said in the morning, before the reading began. “And I want to thank our clerks, profoundly, for the work they do every day, including the arduous task ahead of them.”
For hours on Thursday afternoon and into the night, Mr. Merlino and his colleagues took 20- to 30-minute shifts on the Senate dais, bent over a wooden stand, enunciating every “notwithstanding any other provision” and “amounts otherwise made available” of the measure, which was more than 100,000 words long — more than 70 times the length of this article.
A hint of irritation could be heard straining Mr. Merlino’s voice around the dinner hour, as he made his way through Section 4006, on federal funding for disaster-related funeral expenses. There were 117 sections left.
He and his team were the latest Senate officials bearing the brunt of labor for a decidedly partisan process chosen by lawmakers with voting power as Democrats advanced the stimulus plan through a complex process known as budget reconciliation, which allows it to bypass a filibuster and pass with a 51-vote majority.
With Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking vote, the Senate voted 51-50 to begin debating the bill on Thursday, just before Mr. Johnson made his objection, pushing off any substantive debate until Friday.
It is strange to us that people would be UPSET that the Senate actually has to read the bill before debating it and voting on it.
Democrats seem to be upset that Republicans want to know how this $2 trillion will be spent!
Our Representatives and Senators are stewards of our money!
8:53pm: Halfway! Page 314 of 628
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) March 5, 2021
I just objected to skipping past the reading of the Democrats’ 628-page bill that was just introduced minutes ago.
If they’re going to add nearly $2T to the national debt at least we should know what’s in the bill.
— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) March 4, 2021
More than six hours into Senate clerks reading the just-introduced 628-page relief bill, they are on page 475. Ron Johnson, who forced the reading, is in chamber. If he were to leave, someone could ask for consent to dispense with the reading and he wouldn’t be there to object
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 5, 2021
Here’s the SAD part!
Get ready to be upset…
While this 628 page bill is being read out loud, there is only ONE senator present.
And that is Senator Johnson.
The rest have gone home.
Only one senator is present as clerks read 628-page relief bill on Senate floor.
As Senate clerks take turns reading portions of the Covid-19 relief bill, Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, was the only senator present.
In fairness, while this is an attention getting effort by Johnson, for other senators they are better served working with their staffs off the floor studying the content of the bill.
More on Johnson: He is leading the Republican effort against President Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill, employing extreme tactics by forcing Senate clerks to read its every word and offering a flood of amendments to highlight its astronomical cost.
You would think our Senators would at least pretend to be interested in being informed and educated on what they’re voting on.