'This dysfunction has become routine': Sen. Ron Johnson among senators who voted 'no' on new COVID-19 bill

Posted at 8:00 AM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 11:44:43-05

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) was among a handful of senators who voted "no" on the new COVID-19 relief bill. He said it was due to "dysfunction."

"The dysfunction of Washington, D.C. was on full display as Congress combined covid relief with a massive omnibus spending bill three months past the deadline and into the current fiscal year," Johnson said in a statement Tuesday morning. "It will be weeks, maybe months before we begin to understand all that has been included. I simply could not support this dysfunction, so I voted no."

The more than 5,000 page-long bill included $300-a-week in supplemental jobless benefits, direct payments of $600 for individuals, more than $300 billion in small business loans, and more than $80 billion for schools, as well as funds for help with vaccine distribution.

The other senators who joined Johnson in voting no included Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), and Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL.)

“While I am glad a government shutdown was avoided and that financial relief will finally reach many who truly need it, the fact that this dysfunction has become routine is the reason we are currently $27.5 trillion in debt," Johnson said. "This combined spending bill will drive our debt to over $29 trillion by the end of this fiscal year. I supported the CARES Act because we had to act quickly and massively to prevent an economic meltdown and to provide needed financial relief."

“We do not have an unlimited checking account. We must spend federal dollars, money we are borrowing from future generations, more carefully and place limits on how much we are mortgaging our children’s future," Johnson continued.

The pandemic relief package is connected to a larger $1.4 trillion spending package that must get passed by Congress to keep the government running and fund it through Sept. 30, 2021.

The bill will head to President Donald Trump for signing this week.

Read the entire 5,593 page document here.

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