Rep. Thomas Massie: Who Is The Republican Congressman From Kentucky?

The $2 trillion novel coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus package that passed the Senate on Thursday could run into an unexpected roadblock when it undergoes a House vote on Friday. Thomas Massie, a Republican house representative from Kentucky, will be voting no on the bill out of concerns for the national debt. Massie explained his reasoning, per Cincinnatti’s Local 12.

“You can take $2 trillion out of the economy by telling everybody not to go to work, but when you try to put it back in to make up for it — Guess what? You can prop up the banks and Wall Street, but if the farmers aren’t growing food and the manufacturers aren’t making insulin and people aren’t fixing cars or making new ones, you can’t print food, you can’t print insulin at the Federal Reserve or the Treasury. We have to get our economy going.”

Massie also has issues with the use of a “voice vote” to determine whether the package passes. A voice vote would consist of supporters of the stimulus shouting “yea” and those against shouting “nay,” with the loudest response in the room determining whether the bill passes. A “nay” vote by Massie in the Democrat-controlled House could delay the vote by several days.

Massie’s decision riled many on Capitol Hill, and some have accused the Kentucky congressman of “going rogue,” per Fox News. Senior Republican sources told Fox News that there has been an effort to convince Massie to change his vote, but it doesn’t appear to have worked. Efforts have been made to bring more Republican House members to Washington from their home districts in case Massie were to demand that a quorum of 216 representatives be present instead of the voice vote.

Among Republicans unhappy with Massie’s decision to potentially sidetrack the stimulus bill is President Donald Trump, who addressed the situation in a tweet on Friday morning.

“By empowering the Radical Left Democrats, do nothing Kentucky politician @RepThomasMassie is making their War on the 2nd Amendment more and more difficult to win (But don’t worry, we will win anyway!). He is a disaster for America, and for the Great State of Kentucky!”

Rep. Thomas Massie listens as Sen. Rand Paul speaks to reporters.

Thomas Massie is a Tea Party Republican

While Massie’s decision is unpopular on Capitol Hill, it is by no means inconsistent with his history in politics. Massie found success through his tech company SensAble Devices Inc., which he helped create while he was a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, per Xconomy. After leaving the company Massie returned with his wife, Rhonda, to his hometown of Vanceburg, Kentucky, where they lived on an off-the-grid farm. His political focus rested upon gun rights and individual liberty, two popular issues for the growing Tea Party movement.

His first foray into politics was his campaign for the office of Judge-Executive in Kentucky’s Lewis County in 2010. Massie also campaigned for Rand Paul’s senatorial campaign, working closely with Tea Party groups in the state as Paul secured victory.

Massie announced he was running for a seat in Kentucky’s Fourth Congressional District after the retirement of Congressman Geoff Davis in late 2011. Massie received endorsements from Rand Paul — as well as from Rand Paul’s father, Texas congressman Ron Paul. In a campaign that saw Massie proudly tout his Tea Party credentials, he won by a wide margin.

Rep Thomas Massie speaks to the crowd gathered at a rally.

As congressman, Massie wasn’t afraid to take unpopular stances

Since joining the House, Massie has developed a reputation amongst Republicans and Democrats as a “deficit hawk” that is willing to vote against Republicans’ must-pass bills, per Ballotpedia. He opposed both John Boehner and Paul Ryan in their campaigns to become Speaker of the House, and has been involved in bills that would have abolished the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Massie has also opposed his fellow Republicans on bills regarding international relations. These include voting against sanctions targeting Russia, Iran, and North Korea, as well as opposing bills that would have increased tensions with China and Syria. He has also stood against bills that would have tightened relations with Israel.

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