Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin objected to skipping past the reading of the $1.9 trillion spending bill and the reading went forward Thursday.
It is expected to take approximately 10 hours for the Senate clerks to read through the entire bill, which consisted of over 600 pages.
“If they’re going to add nearly $2T to the national debt at least we should know what’s in the bill,” Johnson tweeted.
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
Johnson said he wanted to make sure “every member of the Senate has time to read” the bill and wanted to “highlight that this is not relief and that it’s a Democratic boondoggle,” according to the National Review. (RELATED: ‘Like Calling Harvey Weinstein A Feminist’: Sen. Kennedy Says Biden’s Stimulus Bill Has Little To Do With COVID-19)
Johnson further stated on the local Wisconsin radio station that the reading of the bill would add to the 20 hours of debate already allotted. Waiving the reading of the bill requires an unanimous vote, according to the National Review.
The bill proposed funding for local and state governments, new stimulus checks, unemployment relief, and increased vaccine distribution. However, many Republicans disagreed with the President Joe Biden’s new COVID-19 relief bill, which passed in the House on Feb. 27.
“Amazingly, Democrats managed to allocate less than 9 percent of their massive bill to the entire healthcare response, and less than 1 percent to the vaccinations that will finish this fight.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, according to the National Review.
Some Democrats also expressed their concerns about the pandemic relief bill, but for different reasons. Sen. Joe Machin of West Virginia wanted unemployment benefits to be modified from $300 per week to $400, according to Politico.