Nancy Pelosi promised Friday morning that the House would pass the massive stimulus package that already has cleared the Senate before the day is done. But if so, passage won't be as easy as she originally planned, and one member of Congress is taking a lot of criticism over that. Pelosi planned to have a voice vote, meaning lawmakers fearful of the coronavirus would not have to be physically present in DC. But Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky threatened to scuttle that idea through a parliamentary move, either by demanding a roll call vote or objecting to a lack of a quorum (in this case, 216 members). As a result, lawmakers are scrambling to return to DC, and they're none to happy about it. Neither is President Trump:
- Trump: He called Massie a "third rate Grandstander" in a tweet and said Massie was only out for publicity. "Throw Massie out of Republican Party!" he added.
- Peter King: "Heading to Washington to vote on pandemic legislation," tweeted the GOP's Peter King. "Because of one Member of Congress refusing to allow emergency action entire Congress must be called back to vote in House. Risk of infection and risk of legislation being delayed. Disgraceful. Irresponsible."
- Bipartisan anger: Democrats were chastising Massie, too. Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota denounced the "principled but terribly misguided stunt." Earlier, Pelosi suggested Massie was "selfish."
- In defense: Liberal journalist Matt Stoller thinks it's wrong for Massie to be called selfish "for wanting to debate and vote on the largest bill ever." This is really about Pelosi wanting to muscle this deal through without public debate, he writes.
- Massie's view: He has libertarian views, and he thinks the massive relief package would increase the national debt too much and is "not a good deal," per the Hill.
- Bottom line: The measure is going to pass no matter what, according to NBC News. It's just a matter of when.
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