Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie attempted — and failed — to delay a House vote on the $2 trillion coronavirus aid bill on Friday by forcing an in-person vote, which led to bipartisan backlash. During a Friday appearance on Fox News Channel, Massie hit back at members of Congress who suggested he put their lives at risk by forcing them to return to Washington to vote amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“I mean, here, think about the arrogance of these congressmen,” Massie said, per Breitbart.
“They’re telling the truckers to keep driving so that their grocery stores will have groceries. They’re telling the UPS drivers to keep bringing their Amazon packages. They’re telling the bagger at the grocery store to keep bagging those groceries.”
Massie pointed to the $174,000 salary for congressional representatives, as well as their access to the “best health care you can buy.”
“And they’re telling people that they should — that the congressmen need to stay home, but everybody else needs to work for them,” he said, adding that he believes this is the “wrong message.”
The 49-year-old congressman also took aim at House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — who he called “Santa Clause” — and accused him of not fulfilling his pledge to allow for debate on the COVID-19 relief bill.
“If this bill is such a great bill, why not have everybody vote on it?” Massie asked.
According to Massie, McCarthy’s decision reflects his desire to be the next Speaker of the House.
Before his last-minute gambit, Massie had criticized the coronavirus aid bill, noting the massive $2 trillion sum compared to the $1,200 check each American would receive, Fox News reported. Per The Washington Examiner, Massie claimed that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and McCarthy worked together to push the $2 trillion bill — the largest in history — through Congress without a recorded vote to avoid accountability.
While Massie said he hopes his last-minute move will make Pelosi think twice about trying to push massive spending through Congress next time, she appears unfazed. Speaking with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, Pelosi called Massie a “dangerous nuisance” and expressed her belief that the bill was going to pass regardless of any intervention.
President Donald Trump slammed Massie and called for him to be kicked from the Republican Party in a series of tweets on Friday. Former Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry also took aim at Massie and noted that it was one of the few things he and the president agreed on.