The Democrat-backed $1.9 trillion dollar COVID-19 relief bill could have been voted on by the Senate as early as Thursday, but Sen. Ron Johnson has required the 628-page bill to be read aloud on the Senate floor, potentially delaying the vote by about 10 hours.

Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican and a fiscal conservative, said he’s opposed to the cost and scope of the spending package, which provides $350 billion to bail out state and local governments, among many other provisions.

Johnson told WISN 1130 much of the spending in the bill is unnecessary and said it could be whittled down to a package that spends about $400 million.

“I’m going to lead the effort to resist starting today,” Johnson told the radio host. “I’m going to make them read that thing. It will probably take about 10 hours.”

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Because it requires unanimous consent to dispense with the reading of the bill, there is little Democrats can do to stop Johnson.

The bill is roughly 628 pages long and includes funding for public schools, vaccines, small businesses, and another round of stimulus checks. It also includes $400 in enhanced weekly jobless pay extended until the end of August.

Senate Democrats planned a vote to advance the bill later Wednesday. It would be followed by the clerk’s reading of the bill at Johnson’s insistence and then 20 hours of debate.

Johnson pointed to the $4 trillion Congress has passed since last year in COVID-19 aid. Some of it has not been spent yet.

“We don’t need this,” Johnson said.

Republicans also plan to offer a barrage of amendments aimed at politically cornering Democrats.

Republicans said the legislation is full of billions of dollars in wasteful spending that is unrelated to the pandemic.

“We’re really going to continue to hammer on all the nonsense that’s non-COVID related that has been packed into this Democratic wish list,” Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iowa Republican, said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of amendments coming from our members, and they’re going to be good, solid amendments — trying to decrease some of the line-item funding that you see in non-COVID items as well as trying to make more sensible adjustments to the rest of the package.”

Democrat New York Senator Chuck Schumer covered for his fellow Democrats insisting “we are delighted” that Sen. Ron Johnson wants to “FORCE” Senate clerks to read the 628 page COVID relief bill.

“We Democrats want America to hear what’s in the plan,” he said.


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