Ron Johnson is a conspiracy theorist, global warming denier and a QAnon sympathizer, according to the media. A MSNBC host goes a step further and suggests the senator came to Wisconsin by way of Russia.
Tommy Tuberville has also been targeted as becoming part of the far right movement. His critics accuse the 66-year old of using a college football coaching career as a springboard to the United States Senate. Together, the two stand as the strongest voices against passage of the $1.9 trillion (with a T) so-called Covid-19 Relief Bill. Without the authority to orchestrate a filibuster, Johnson did the next best thing. He forced the Chuck Schumer-led Democratic majority to read the entire 600-plus page bill in its entirety, including the credits. It also had to be retyped by stenographers. The whole fucking thing. Lacking ability to speed the reading to a 2.5 X chipmunk level, the exercise took 11 hours. Drive-By: No word on Alvin and the Chipmunks being branded as racially or ethnically disparaging, not yet. Atfterwards the two-term senator made his point on social media...
"After listening to the entire 11 hours of the reading of this bill, it's clear this is not a COVID relief bill. It's amazing how much spending is for 2022-2028. This is just a Democrat wish list."
Don't have a weekend's worth of reading time to find all the special interest groups in line to get handouts, here are a few highlights...
An $86 billion bailout to union pensions that taxpayers will be forced to pay because employers cannot.
$129 billion towards reopening of schools. More than $68 billion has been given towards this during the pandemic, only a small fraction actually spent.
$53 billion to expand Obamacare programs, subsidizing COBRA and other programs.
Tuberville plans to delay the process further by having forcing votes on his nearly two dozen amendments. Johnson has distributed a sign-up sheet to his constituents to ensure enough members will be on the floor at all times.
The bill is even seeing pushback from moderate Republican Mitt Romney, who argues states that did not experience a deficit due to the pandemic should be receiving allocations from the American Rescue Fund.
Romney pointed towards California, a state that had a record surplus in 2020 and is due to receive $27 billion.
The endgame on the Senate floor will feature numerous additional amendments that will stall the eventual final passage further.
The Charlie Sykes Bulwark crowd will cry foul well into next week, but at least voices are being heard, and afterwards Johnson can ask that the final revised bill be read back one more time.
Just so everyone is crystal clear on what America is getting into.