Chuck Schumer is no Nancy Pelosi; that was my sentiment a week ago. Friday he earned my respect.
The Senate voted Thursday on a motion to extend their debate on the Covid relief bill to 20 hours. The results of the vote, to keep working, went along Party lines and Vice President Kamala Harris was called upon to break the tie.
Republicans had wanted to delay as long as possible, but they would not get off so easy.
In retaliation, GOP Senator Ron Johnson from Wisconsin came up with a stalling tactic, demanding the 628-page document be read, out loud. Johnson thought his demand was clever, but he was outmaneuvered by Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer.
After the eleven-hour reading, followed by a lengthy debate, the Senate adjourned just after 2 a.m. Friday and reconvened later in the morning to vote. The Covid relief bill passed along party lines 50-49; Alaska’s Republican Senator Dan Sullivan absent. Not a single Republican supported the relief Bill. Remember that when you get your check.
It had been an exhausting week of debate, with a seemingly endless reading, more debate, and finally a vote that passed the bill. The bill is now in the hands of the House of Representatives, where it is likely to pass and move on to Biden for a final signature.
Several Senators left after voting and with the smaller group, Schumer saw his opportunity. A large majority of Senators who remained on the floor were Democrats. Schumer held a vote to invoke cloture on Merrick Garland’s confirmation. He had the required two-thirds of those “present and voting,” to end the filibuster that stood in the way of Merrick Garland’s confirmation as our new Attorney General. Schumer killed that filibuster, the endless debate meant to delay progress. Whether or not Merrick merits confirmation as our new Attorney General will be voted on this week, and only a simple majority is required to confirm him.
Confirming Garland will be as big a win as the Covid relief bill. It means we may finally see justice prevail. Now let’s get on with the indictments.
Can we expect more of this from Schumer? We can only hope. He’s still no Nancy, but he’s holding his own.