Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is trying to delay the passage of stimulus checks by forcing the clerks to read the stimulus bill, but Senate clerks have a plan to speed things up.
Luckily, the clerks who will be forced to carry out that stalling tactic have a plan.
“We can read two pages a minute,” Mary Anne Clarkson, senior assistant legislative clerk, told TPM matter-of-factly. “It won’t take 10 hours.”
She would know — she and John Merlino, the head Senate legislative clerk, are in charge of reading aloud bills, resolutions and amendments on the floor, along with calling the roll for quorums and votes.
If it gets really long — “four or five hours,” she said — they may bring in the head Senate bill clerk and her senior assistant for backup. They sometimes help out with roll call votes.
Senate Majority Leader Schumer blasted the stalling tactics on the Senate floor, “We all know this will merely delay the inevitable. It will accomplish little more than a few sore throats for the Senate clerks, who work very hard, day-in, day-out, to help the Senate function. And I want to thank our clerks, profoundly, for the work they do every day, including the arduous task ahead of them.”
Senate Republicans are also going to try to delay passage by forcing votes on a laundry list of amendments, but none of it will work. The bill is going to pass. The American people are going to get their stimulus checks, and voters will know that Republicans opposed the most popular piece of major legislation since 2007.
The Republicans’ tactics will only result in a win-win for Democrats and the American people.
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Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association