We have met the enemy, and they is us[i].
The headlines scream--Senate shatters record with the longest vote in history as Democrats nego-tiated the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. What they don’t tell you is who—beyond the usual cast of Republicans—the Democrats negotiated until the wee hours of the morning to bring the President’s pandemic relief bill to the Senate floor for a vote and passage along party lines.
Senate Republicans did what they could to stall a vote on the relief act. Ron Johnson (R-WI) went so far as to require the entirety of the bill’s nearly 650 pages read into the record. It took Senate clerks 11 hours to complete what everyone acknowledged to be a useless task.
Johnson, a staunch Trump ally, has been previously criticized for claiming the deadly January attack on the US Capitol was the work of leftists posing as Trump supporters. The delaying tac-tics of Johnson and other Republican senators, e.g., flooding the debate with 422 amendments, were to be expected.
What wasn’t anticipated, however, were the negotiations needed to convince Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to cast his vote with the 47 other Democrats and two independents who were ready to pass the legislation.
Joel B. Stronberg
Joel Stronberg, MA, JD., of The JBS Group is a veteran clean energy policy analyst with over 30 years’ experience, based in Washington, DC.