Rep. Johnson thanks workers at local vaccine site, talks relief bill & possible Senate run

Rep. Johnson thanks workers at local vaccine site, talks relief bill & possible Senate run

WKBN, March 8, 2021

Congressman Bill Johnson visited a COVID-19 vaccination site in Mahoning County on Monday to thank workers for their dedication.

He visited the Austintown Senior Center and met with workers from the Mahoning County Public Health Department.

Johnson told them he appreciates their hard work and that it doesn’t go unnoticed.

He also said he doesn’t believe their work will be done anytime soon.

“This is not like smallpox or polio, you know, the vaccines that we got back in the ’50s and ’60s. This is a virus that morphs and mutates, kinda like the flu. So it’s going to be a moving target and we’re going to have to stay after this thing, I suspect,” Johnson said.

He also talked about the COVID-19 relief bill and a potential run for Senate.

The House is expected to pass the COVID-19 relief bill on Tuesday after the Senate approved it on Saturday.

But some Republicans, including Johnson, have criticized the bill, calling it wasteful spending that’s not needed to end the pandemic and boost economic recovery.

“I think that it probably doesn’t come to a surprise to you that I am opposed to this. We’ve already spent over $3 trillion. There’s roughly $1 trillion that is still in the pipeline that has never made it to the people, that it’s supposed to get to money that Congress has previously appropriated. I think it’s irresponsible to not target the COVID relief to people that actually need it and it needs to go towards COVID relief,” he said.

Biden and Democrats have said the country needs the stimulus for people still getting unemployment and for those unable to afford food and rent.

As far as his potential Senate run, Rob Portman announced he will not seek re-election in 2022. So, Johnson said running for the seat is something he is thinking about.

“I am taking a good, strong look at this. It’s important. I’ve spent 10 years representing the people of eastern and southeastern Ohio and now I want to examine closely the question, can I represent them better by running for the Senate? We’ll make a determination at some point. It’s early, it’s really early,” he said.

Johnson has represented Ohio’s 6th Congressional District since 2011. Right now, he lives in Marietta.