Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) dismissed a bill that is pushing for a second round of stimulus checks. The senator raised concerns about the country’s debt, also saying that the efforts for COVID relief need to be targeted.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) tried to pass his bill that would have provided $1,200 for Americans whose income is $75,000 and below. He needed all of his fellow senators to agree with the bill in order for it to pass.
When appealing to his colleagues, Hawley said the bill was in the same vein as the CARES Act. While on the Senate floor, he said: “What I’m proposing is what every senator has supported already, this year. … What I’m proposing will give working folks in my state and across this country a shot … at getting back up on their feet.”
However, Johnson blocked the bill over worries about the increase in national debt. He also suggested that the bill for the second round of stimulus checks should be more targeted. Johnson also stated that is open to supporting a stimulus package for small businesses. He wants the checks to help such businesses to get back on their feet.
“What I fear we’re going to do with this bipartisan package, and what the senator from Missouri is talking about is the same thing — a shotgun approach,” Johnson said. “We will not have learned the lessons from our very hurried, very rushed, very massive, earlier relief packages. We’re just going to do more of the same, another trillion dollars. It takes our debt from $27.4 trillion to $28.4 trillion in a couple months. With doing virtually no revisions, no improvements,” he then added.
In response, Hawley explained that the bill is targeted. “No relief could be more important than relief for working people,” he said. He acknowledged that Johnson was right in saying that the government has already spent “trillions of dollars” in allocation for COVID-19 relief checks. However, he remarked that “We’re getting ready to spend apparently another $1 trillion more. And yet working people are told, they may be last — if they get relief at all.”
Johnson previously supported the CARES Act, amounting to $2.2 billion. He also was in favor of the defense budget worth $741 billion. However, the senator has expressed concern over the second stimulus package even during the early stages of its discussion. He likened it to “mortgaging our kids’ future.”