Sen. Ron Johnson Makes Clerks Read COVID Bill Aloud During Session
For decades, the GOP has portrayed itself as the party of fiscal responsibility, but when push comes to shove, it has not acted all that fiscally responsible.
Time after time, Republicans have talked a big game about halting massive expansions of government spending, only to roll over and let them happen whenever sticking to their word would require actual guts.
Thankfully, one GOP Senator is legitimately standing up for the American taxpayer and fighting against the Democrats’ monstrous 628-page, $1.9 trillion COVID “relief” bill.
Fox News estimated the reading would take about 10 hours, and would then be followed by 20 hours of debate on the bill itself before what is known as a “vote-a-rama,” in which legislators vote on a myriad of changes and amendments.
In essence, Democrats will be in for a rough, unrelenting weekend if they want their “relief” bill to pass.
On Thursday, Johnson made good on his pledge:
Johnson elaborated that he did not wish to “hurt” anybody, but felt the action was necessary to highlight the absurdity and grossness of the bill.
Some of the absurdities in question include $480 million for the arts and humanities, $1.5 billion for Amtrak, another bridge connecting the United States and Canada and $30 billion for public transit agencies.
We can fight about these policies during better times, but if Democratic governors are going to continue their refusal to re-open, COVID relief should be narrowed down to target what has been most affected by the pandemic.
“We all know this will merely delay the inevitable. It will accomplish little more than a few sore throats for the Senate clerks who work very hard day in, day out to help the Senate function,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Wednesday on the House floor.
“We Democrats want America to hear what’s in the plan. And if the senator from Wisconsin wants to read it, let everybody listen, because it has overwhelming support.”
Unfortunately, Schumer is probably right — chances are that this $1.9 trillion boondoggle will pass in the Senate on party lines, and Johnson really is only delaying the inevitable.
However, Johnson’s effort is still worthwhile.
First, it indicates to the American people that the GOP is back and ready to fight for taxpayers once again.
Second, there is a small chance that the sheer volume of pork in the bill will sway a moderate Democrat to the side of fiscal responsibility.
Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona in particular are more likely to see the light than most. It could also solidify the vote of moderate Republicans like Lisa Murkowski, who has not yet indicated whether she will vote for fiscal conservatism or fiscal ruin.
Third, it could serve as a valuable reminder to voters headed into the 2022 midterms by making it clear that Democratic Party lawmakers are interested in partisanship and corruption — not in improving the lives of the American people.
No matter what, Johnson is doing the right thing. If the GOP is truly interested in fiscal responsibility, it’s time to act like it.
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