Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) last month forced legislators to return to Washington to vote on the much-discussed coronavirus relief measure despite concerns about the virus.
Now he’s threatening to block the next coronavirus relief package, saying he objects to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Ca.) plans to pass any deal struck with Republicans by unanimous consent or voice vote, two methods used in the House to expedite passage of uncontroversial legislation. These methods don’t require all legislators to be present, though one can object.
“Once again they’re recommending that just let Nancy Pelosi pass it on her own, that we can all stay home,” Massie said during an interview on Fox Business. “And I’m saying that’s not going to fly. It doesn’t fly with the Constitution, it doesn’t fly with accountability to the taxpayers.”
Massie proposes the House move to a virtual remote voting system to get all lawmakers’ votes on record.
“As long as the government gives away money, there’s going to be no lack of demand for that. What the government needs to do is allow people to go back to work. And so, anyways. I’m against the bill, but the main thing that I’m against is letting Nancy Pelosi do it in the House on her own without members being accountable,” Massie said. “So let’s enable remote voting. Don’t blame me.”
The White House has requested $251 billion for a small business loan program that was included in last month’s $2.2 trillion stimulus bill. Although Republicans have championed the measure and would like to fast track its approval, Democrats have signaled their desire for additional funding for hospitals, local governments, and food stamp programs.