GOP Sen. Ron Johnson Forces Senate to Read Aloud All 628 Pages Covid Relief Bill

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “GOP Sen. Ron Johnson Forces Senate to Read Aloud All 628 Pages Covid Relief Bill” – below is their description.

    The U.S. Senate voted to take up a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill backed by President Joe Biden, setting off a lengthy and partisan debate expected to end this weekend with approval of the nation’s sixth stimulus since the pandemic-triggered lock downs that began a year ago.

    The 51-50 vote Thursday, with Vice President Kamala Harris providing the tie-breaker, reflected the solid opposition of Senate Republicans, who say the drive by Democrats to pass it on their own has resulted in a far-too-costly measure that will further boost U.S. debt and could spark inflation.

    The vote has the Senate considering a bill passed in the House a week ago, but the chamber will later vote on a package of changes offered by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that are designed to shore up support among Democrats. That includes tighter eligibility for $1,400 stimulus checks and subsidies for health insurance premiums of laid-off workers through September.

    A host of other changes could come later in a debate that Republicans are threatening to stretch out for several days and that will end in a grueling “vote-a-rama,” when senators can offer scores of amendments with rapid-fire debate and votes. In a chamber divided 50-50 between the two parties, with Harris able to break any ties, Democrats will be challenged to stay unified over votes that could politically risky or that could fundamentally alter the legislation.

    As an added hurdle, GOP Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is demanding an entire reading of the 700-page bill — something that could take 10 hours. After that, the Senate will have as many as 20 hours of debate on the relief package. Then comes the vote-a-rama, which has no set end point under Senate rules. Democratic leaders have the ability to conclude at some point by declaring that Republicans are engaging in “dilatory” tactics.

    Read More: Here’s What’s in the Senate’s $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Legislation

    “No matter how long it takes, the Senate is going to stay in session to finish the bill this week,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “The American people deserve nothing less.”

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