GOP Plans Stalling Tactic Of Forcing Full, Many-Hour-Long Reading Of COVID Relief Bill

Republican Senator from Wisconsin Ron Johnson attends the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nomination of Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, on Capitol H... Republican Senator from Wisconsin Ron Johnson attends the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nomination of Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on January 27, 2021. (Photo by MICHAEL REYNOLDS / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MICHAEL REYNOLDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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March 3, 2021 4:57 p.m.

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.

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Johnson confirmed his stalling tactic in a tweet later Wednesday.

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.

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