Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., told the “Todd Starnes Radio Show” Monday that his effort to force a roll call on the $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package that drew the ire of President Trump and fellow Republicans was not political, rather grounded in protecting the Constitution.
Massie said he did not regret forcing hundreds of lawmakers back to Washington to vote on the bill—and in doing so possibly expose them the coronavirus—and insisted that the world’s largest money transfer ever deserved the attention. He said his colleagues get paid over $170,000 a year and have one of the best health plans in a country.
“They’re mad at me for having to go to work,” he said, before pointing out the grocery store workers and truckers who sacrifice to show up to work amid the outbreak to keep the country running.
Massie faced bipartisan backlash last week for holding up the $2.2 trillion coronavirus recovery package that he said was filled with pork and was being rushed passed without a grasp of what was in the package. He told Fox News at the time that if the House was going to pass the “biggest spending bill in the history of mankind… people should go on record for this.”
Republicans and Democrats were not happy. Even Trump slammed Massie for holding up the bill.
“Looks like a third rate Grandstander named @RepThomasMassie, a Congressman from, unfortunately, a truly GREAT State, Kentucky, wants to vote against the new Save Our Workers Bill in Congress. He just wants the publicity. He can’t stop it, only delay, which is both dangerous & costly,″ Trump tweeted.
In response, Massie told Starnes that he considers himself to be at-best a second-rate grandstander.
Massie said he does not relish in the role of being the “most hated man” in the country but continues to warn about the package, that Larry Kudlow, the Trump administration economist, said will amount to $6 trillion between stimulus and Federal Reserve loans.
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Massie told Starnes that the numbers don’t even add up.
“Take the $6 trillion for the total bailout, divide it by 100 million families. That’s $60,000 per family that’s going to be injected into our economy somewhere. But each working adult gets $1,200. Tell me, the math doesn’t add up. Ninety-five percent of this money is going somewhere else and I’m telling people that the $1,200 is the cheese in the trap.”
He said the trap is cronyism.
Starnes, who has stated that he is for a rescue package, but one that targets those in most need and not pet projects, said that he believed the left was using the massive package to get its “holiday wishlist” through congress.
Massie said he knew that he would face political backlash from his decision but insisted that the vote was not delayed. Trump signed the package at the same time that had been scheduled.
He said he believed forcing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to drag members of her party to Congress for the vote and he believes that it will help Trump in the long run when it comes to the next vote on the fourth piece of legislation.