Republicans Demand a Painful, Multi-Hour Reading of the 600-Page Relief Bill

While Democrats forge ahead in getting relief to the American people, Republicans are pulling a procedural move to exact the maximum amount of pain in the process.

The tactic is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts of the legislation that Republicans deem unnecessary and partisan, while accruing talking points they perceive as ammunition against Democrats.

As the 600-page bill will be read by the clerk, the GOP will be offering amendments both related and unrelated to the legislation.

The Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation must send their cost “score” of the legislation to the Senate, which is expected Thursday. The chamber will then begin 20 hours of debate.

  • Joni Ernst: “We’re really going to continue to hammer on all the nonsense that’s non-COVID related that has been packed into this Democratic wish list.”
  • James Lankford: “I would expect a very long night into the next day and keep going on. A lot to still cover.”
  • Ben Cardin: “I just feel sorry for the reading clerk.”

In a Monmouth poll conducted from February 25-March 1, 68% of Americans said that the $1400 checks should remain in the bill even if it meant there would not be bipartisan support.

Also several GOP mayors across America are pushing for the relief bill as city halls are strained for cash. A letter sent by 432 mayors included 32 GOP mayors who took in less revenue from tax sources.

Mayors covet the $350 billion in direct aid Biden’s legislation, dubbed the American Rescue Plan, would pump into state and local governments and the $130 billion more for the reopening of public schools. A $900 billion COVID-19 relief package that passed in December, when Republicans controlled the Senate and occupied the White House, contained no financial aid for state and local governments.

USA Today

Axios had this story.