Skip to comments.Trump: “Throw Massie out of the Republican Party,” as House to pass coronavirus relief — and pass around the virus, too?
Posted on 03/27/2020 8:54:40 AM PDT by yardboyd
House members will pass the coronavirus relief bill at some point today. The big question is what else they may pass around on the way back to hold a voice vote. Representatives are traveling quickly back to the capitol after Rep. Thomas Massie made it clear that he would force a voice vote on the CARES Act, and his colleagues are less than pleased to take a break from their social distancing:
Massies unpopularity stretches to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, too. Trump urged House Republicans to expel Massie from their caucus this morning on Twitter:
Thanks to Massie, Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer had to call the House back into session. It takes at least 216 members to establish a quorum (down from 218 thanks to vacancies at the moment), which means hundreds of politicians had to travel through airports and on airplanes to get back to Washington DC. Thats not only risky in terms of spreading the coronavirus even further, its also expensive as hell, Massies colleagues reminded him:
Leaders in both parties encouraged members to return to D.C. for the vote if they are willing and able, while the majority whip asked offices to let them know ASAP if their bosses were planning on making the trip. But many lawmakers are furious: they dont want to be recorded as absent on what is likely to be the biggest and most historic piece of legislation that they will ever vote on. Yet the short notice, canceled or limited flights and states with different safety guidelines have created a whole lot of headaches and anger among members.
Take this tweet from freshman Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.): Dear @RepThomasMassie: If you intend to delay passage of the #coronavirus relief bill tomorrow morning, please advise your 428 colleagues RIGHT NOW so we can book flights and expend ~$200,000 in taxpayer money to counter your principled but terribly misguided stunt. #thankyou. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), meanwhile, called it disgraceful and irresponsible of Massie to force members to come back. And one senior GOP aide put it this way to your Huddle host: This is the single biggest shit show I have seen here. Pure fucking chaos.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) had been making the pitch to his members in pressers, conference calls and individual conversations to not object to the voice vote. But Massie remains a wild card: he thinks holding a vote without a quorum is unconstitutional and is wary of big government spending. Remember, this is the lawmaker who once forced his colleagues to take 35 roll call votes on non-controversial bills, leading to a marathon, late-night voting session just as the government was on the brink of a partial shutdown.
GOP leadership has been in contact with Massie about his concerns, according to a Republican leadership aide. Yet no one is quite sure where he will land and Massie hasnt ruled out forcing a recorded vote. Theyre trying to convince us it should be a voice vote, it shouldnt be recorded. And Im struggling with this, he told a radio station Thursday. Trump, meanwhile, had this to say: Lets see whether or not we have a grandstander. All the latest on the last-minute drama, from Heather, Sarah and yours truly: https://politi.co/2JjA4fP.
Pelosi insists on holding the vote today to get the bill implemented ASAP, perhaps embarrassed now that she didnt call members back sooner. When will the vote be taken? They cant do any voting until they get to a quorum, and its anyones guess when enough members will have checked in to reach that time. Thanks to declarations from Massie and Justin Amash, Pelosi may need to wait until shes sure she has 216 votes for passage, too.
One things for sure Hoyer doesnt want Massie or anyone else to use this brief session as a soapbox. He has specifically excluded the traditional access to the floor for one-minute speeches today:
How will they conduct the vote while maintaining social distancing standards? The House chamber is precisely the kind of mass gathering that lawmakers and governors have exhorted Americans not to hold. Its a crowded place in normal circumstances, especially during a roll-call vote. Massie might force more than one of those today, too, using procedural roadblocks to slow down progress just as he did before the shutdown. Even if they shuttle in and out of the room, they will have to come in close proximity to each other repeatedly all day long. By the end of the day, the entire House will have to self-quarantine for the next two weeks.
That, of course, is on Massie but its also on Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell. At the very beginning of the outbreak in the US, they both had opportunities to set up a protocol for remote voting to avoid this very scenario. In a pandemic, Congress has to be able to function, especially to oversee the operation of an executive branch operating under emergency powers. Massie is at least correct in one sense that the House Speaker cannot just assume a without-objection status on massive spending outlays. Put that together with the average age of representatives and senators and their vulnerability to pandemic-type infections and you have a recipe for disaster.
Its almost too late for this crisis, but whatever remains of Congress after the COVID-19 pandemic abates should take up remote voting as one of its first orders of business.
lThis bill is a piece of scotch taped together bullcrap!
Mr. President: As one of your loyal supporters I would ask you and the others to listen to what Rep. Massie has to say.
Grahamnesty, Rubio, Hoeven, Tillis and a bunch of other Cheap Labor Express stooges need to go first!
This is either urgent or it is not. Everyone who delays it, whether Pelosi or Massie or Count Bassie, should be condemned for causing a delay.
This is nothing more than a staged temper tantrum by Massie. He can simply stay home and abstain from voting if he's got such a problem with the legislation.
Dey wanna put Massie in da cold, cold ground!
Massie is a MIT geek and has a solar powered house in not so sunny Kentucky. How he got elected in coal country is a mystery to me.
You can worry about Massie after (and only after) getting rid of Romney, Collins, Graham, Murkowski,and Rubio
9 articles down from this, yo..... #facepalm
Trump is too much in [public] love with Pelousy’s latest let’s-pass-it-to-find-out-what’s-in-it exercise.
Pelousy still owes me $2,500/yr X 10 years.
I will take “It is not” for a thousand.
And if anyone in the country at all is to die from this, let it be the national legislators.
I second this!
As time goes by, that movie just gets better and better.
Massie gets his five minutes of fame. Hope hes happy.
They should have gone to voting from home a decade ago. They would have to face the home voters everyday. For now if they think they are so fragile they should go home and grab their teddy bear.
Learn to use the search button.
You mean I get $2400 AND my rep gets sick? Whats not to like about that?
The Congress shouldn’t have been out of town anyway....the Senate stayed, at risk to 4 members that have had to quarantine....the chicken fecal deposits of the congress should be in town for this emergency crises and stay in town!!!
Massey is right...vote and be counted. Trump is wrong on this.
“Masssie (R KY) is one of three true Conservatives in Congress. “
I doubt it. In this case though he is just staging a “look at me” stunt that doesn’t accomplish much.
I go with Trump on this one.
hmmm. Congress Quarantined for 2 weeks....If the rules when applied fully are to onerous to follow in a crisis then maybe those rules are too onerous to begin with.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.