Vice President Kamala Harris provided the necessary tie-breaking vote Thursday in the Senate to advance discussion of President Joe Biden’s massive $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill.
Her vote sided with Democrats to advance the legislation along party lines. However, efforts quickly halted as Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson requested the traditional reading of the full bill.
The current stimulus bill includes 628 pages. Public reading of the legislation could take 10 hours.
Fox News reported Senator Johnson stated, “All I’m trying to do is make this a more deliberative process [and] obviously shine the light on this abusive and obscene amount of money.”
Senate Republicans have largely rejected Biden’s legislation for including political pet projects. Less than 10 percent of the $1.9 trillion budgeted will go directly to COVID-19 relief.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer responded, “No matter how long it takes, the Senate is going to stay in session to finish the bill – this week.”
Once the bill is read, Senate debate will include 20 hours of discussion. The amendment process will take place following this time, with conservatives likely seeking votes on issues included in the bill ranging from abortion to immigration.
Democrats hope to see the bill approved and on President Biden’s desk by March 14. Current COVID-19 unemployment aid programs expire on that date.
If successful, Vice President Harris may be invited to the Senate once again to cast a second tie-breaker vote. She’ll gladly oblige, especially when the bill supports the left’s full agenda of progressive projects.