By Duncan Smith
We like Wisconsin GOP Sen. Ron Johnson around here. He’s a good man and his ?? is in the right place.
But a piece of legislation he co-sponsored with another good man, Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), last week to switch out Columbus Day with “Juneteenth,” the day all slaves in America were emancipated, was just virtue-signaling nonsense.
Though he claims otherwise.
In any event, citing the ‘federal deficit’ or something, Johnson pulled the amendment on Tuesday.
ICYMI: Rather than allow another paid day off for federal workers to pass without debate or vote, I wanted to start a discussion. The original amendment is being withdrawn and I'm introducing a modified one that preserves Columbus Day and taxpayer dollars. https://t.co/fzs3e2IPFA
— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) July 6, 2020
The Epoch Times explained:
A proposal to trade the Columbus Day federal holiday for one on Juneteenth was spurred by fears that the latter would be approved by the Senate as a federal holiday with no debate, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told The Epoch Times.
'I didn't want an 11th day for government workers to get paid and the rest of America having to pick up that $600 million price tag when we're $26.2 trillion dollars in debt, about 17.8 million Americans currently unemployed,' Johnson said, describing his proposal as being 'mischaracterized' by some media.
The news site continues:
Johnson and Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) introduced an amendment last week to legislation (pdf) introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and supported by dozens of other senators to make Juneteenth, or June 19, a federal holiday.
The amendment from Johnson and Lankford would remove Columbus Day as a federal holiday as Juneteenth became one, effectively keeping the number of federal holidays at 10.
Aides had informed Johnson that there were plans to ask for unanimous consent for Cornyn's legislation.
Unanimous consent means a bill can be blocked by a single senator but will pass with no recorded vote if no senators object.
'I thought it was a rather unappealing prospect to go down to the floor of the Senate and say 'I object to the emancipation of slaves,’' Johnson told The Epoch Times.
'I wanted an alternative, but I had to come up with one fast. I didn't have time for complexity. We had to get something filed, fast, because we thought somebody might go on the floor literally in the next couple of hours.'
Johnson said the most logical thing was to swap out with Columbus Day because not all Americans get the day off as a holiday.
'This has been blown up into something that it wasn't,' Johnson said. 'And I understand the sensitivity of the times, and I am just really trying to correct the record, so people realized, no, I wasn't caving or pandering to the mob. I didn't join the mob. I'm opposed to the mob.'
'I don't regret having done this, because we have slowed the process down. Had I not done this, the bill creating an 11th paid holiday for federal employees would probably be sitting on President Trump's desk as we speak,' he added.
Fair enough. We believe him. But it sure seemed like virtue-signaling at the time.
And frankly, even if the legislation had gone through unchallenged and Juneteenth was swapped out with Columbus Day, the outrage Leftist mob would still not support Johnson. Or Republicans. Or President Trump for having signed it.
Because they can’t be mollified. ?
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