Senate Republicans on Wednesday suggested they are planning to force the chamber’s clerks to fully read Democrats’ $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill — a stalling tactic that could take by some estimates up to 10 hours, delaying the vote.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said he will request a reading of the legislation and that another Republican senator has been briefed on it, according to a Hill pool report.
Johnson later Wednesday told a Wisconsin radio station that he may attempt to drag the process out into the weekend by offering amendments, on the condition that another senator seconds him.
The senator, according to CNN, added that he will force the Senate clerks to read the Senate Democrats’ bill.
Johnson confirmed his stalling tactic in a tweet later Wednesday.
I'm going to make the Senate clerk read the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion bill. All several hundred pages of it.
Then I’m going to offer amendments. Many amendments.
We need to highlight the abuse.
This is not a COVID relief bill.
It's a boondoggle for Democrats.
— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) March 3, 2021
Sen. John Thune (R-SD) said the full reading of the Senate Democrats’ COVID-19 relief bill would happen at the start of floor consideration and before the 20 hours of scheduled debate, according to a pool report.
Thune estimated that the full reading would likely last for about 10 hours.
Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) co-signed Thune’s assessment.
“It’s going to go longer than it’s ever gone before,” Braun said.
Asked about his response to the Senate Republicans’ stalling tactic, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) brushed off concerns.
“I just feel sorry for the reading clerk,” Cardin said, according to a pool report.