Taking a break from the ‘vote-a-rama’ in the Senate today, republican Ron Johnson defended his decision to have the Senate Clerk read the entire 600-plus page COVID-19 relief bill Thursday, stalling a vote on the package several hours.
“Had I not done that, what Chuck Schumer would have done is eliminate debate, we probably would have had vote-a-rama last night before anybody had a chance to read it, before our staffs could pore through and interpret it,” Johnson told WTMJ’s Jeff Wagner. “I just forced, at least 11 hours, to give everybody to at least read it, to give our staffs a chance to study it and start crafting, hopefully effective, amendments, because again, this is complex.”
The reading took just a shade under 11 hours and the Senate was eventually gaveled out by Wisconsin’s other Senator, Tammy Baldwin, around two o’clock this morning.
Johnson is expected to be a ‘no’ vote on the relief bill which is expected to pass along party lines sometime this weekend.
During his nearly twenty minute interview with Wagner on WTMJ, Johnson would not commit to running, or not running, for reelection for a third term.
“I truthfully have not decided, and I don’t think I have to decide anytime soon, quite honestly,” Johnson said. “I think I’ll save everybody a lot of money by holding tight and making a decision when I’m ready to.”
Johnson didn’t make a declaration about his first reelection bid in 2016 until April of that year. As of today, two democrats have declared their intentions to run for Senate. Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson and Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry have both filed papers to run.
You can listen to Johnson’s entire interview with Wagner in the player above.