Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin revealed his plans on stalling the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill backed by President Joe Biden. He aims to do so by asking for Senate clerks to read what he described as a 600- to 700-page “Democratic boondoggle.”
Johnson shared his plans on a local station in Wisconsin, News/Talk 1130, as per The National Review. Johnson reportedly wants all senators to learn all the inclusions of the bill. This may possibly delay the vote by around 10 hours.
On Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) spoke to “The Story” about the package passed by the House of Representative. He described the response as “wildly out of proportion,” given the state of the U.S. at the moment.
McConnell noted that the latest COVID relief bill is as massive as the one approved in April 2020. He also pointed out that the current state of the country is not the same as that in 2020. McConnell then noted that, of that amount, only 9% is allocated to health care and less than 1% is vaccine-related.
The timeline regarding this relief bill is still not completely clear. The Senate may hold a vote on Thursday after they start their session at noon. However, that also entails debates that go on for a total of 20 hours.
Additionally, the legislators are currently waiting for a score coming from the Joint Committee on Taxation as well as the Congressional Budget Office.
After 20 hours of debates, the Senate will enter a phase where they will conduct votes one after the other, regarding amendments and changes to the bill. Whether the bill passes or not is decided upon by the final vote.
If both parties don’t reach an agreement soon, this process may take days.
Once this measure passes the Senate, it will move to the House. The two chambers of Congress likely have approved different versions of the COVID relief bill. Once the measure reaches the House, the lower chamber will have to consider changes and get votes so that their version and the Senate’s version will align. After this, they can send the plan to the President’s table in the middle of the month.
However, by that time, the unemployment benefits of many Americans would have already expired.