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UpFront: Sen. Johnson discusses opposition to coronavirus relief bill, Wisconsin Senate leaders ready to call a special session

Published: Aug. 2, 2020 at 4:26 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - One of Wisconsin’s U.S. Senators says he opposes a new coronavirus relief bill due to its high cost.

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), says there is at least one trillion dollars still unspent from a previous relief bill that should be targeted first.

On Friday, a previous plan that gave unemployed people an extra $600 per week expired.

Now, Senator Johnson has offered his own solution which offers bonuses from $200-$500 a week.

When asked about how quickly another package would be passed during UpFront, Johnson said it was unlikely, and the new bill contains what he calls “grotesque level of spending.”

“What we should be doing is getting oversight, find out what worked and what work and pass it fast. We know it’s going to be far from perfect, so let’s fix some of these things and spend the additional $1.2 trillion better, more targeted, more effectively before we even think of authorizing another dime,” said Sen. Johnson.

Also on UpFront, J.R. Ross, editor of WisPolitics.com, discussed the possibility of Wisconsin Republicans calling a special session regarding Gov. Evers’ mask mandate.

After Evers ordered a mandate that went into effect Saturday, Republican leaders of Wisconsin Senate say they’re ready to call a special session to overturn it.

However, the issue might come with the Assembly, where Speaker Robin Vos didn’t say if he would file a lawsuit or vote to strike it down.

“If you think about the big picture, Republicans in suburban areas, especially with President Trump, the Senate districts, even the suburban, they’re safe Republican. But in Assembly Districts, they’re a little less safe and more dicey to come in and take a vote like this when you have maybe not a clear consensus from the public,” said Ross.

Ross also added a legal challenge from lawmakers might be more difficult than the Stay at Home order because one conservative justice voted to uphold the order, in addition to a new liberal judge on the high court.

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