The Congressman who tried to force expanded voting on the COVID-19 relief bill ahead of the House vote Friday said he was driven by respect for process and desire for congressional accountability, and explained his reasoning in a series of statements.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) said he insisted on a roll-call vote on the bill because he wanted a clear record of accountability for House members.
“Its pretty clear now, with enough members here to pass the bill, that Pelosi and McCarthy are still working together to block a recorded vote just to insulate members of Congress from ACCOUNTABILITY,” Massie wrote.
“Biggest spending bill in the history of mankind, and no recorded vote? #SWAMP,” he added, in an apparent reference to critics of Washington politics who decry it as corrupt and lacking in transparency.
In remarks to C-SPAN, Massie said “theres a big cover-up in there.”
“Theyre trying to cover up their votes,” he said in response to a reporters question about what type of cover-up he had in mind.
“They had enough people there to pass the bill, but they still refused to have a recorded vote,” he added.
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 27, 2020
The House voted on Friday to adopt the $2.2 trillion CCP virus relief bill, which President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly praised the package, is expected to sign later in the day.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Partys coverup and mismanagement let the virus spread throughout China and then across the world.
Massies call for a recorded vote failed because of insufficient support and a subsequent call for a quorum failed because a majority of lawmakers were already present after members flew in across the country following word of Massies attempt late Thursday.
The package was passed on a voice vote, with the ayes outnumbering the nays.
“Are they afraid of the truth? Ive been told that they dont even have 1 minute available for me to speak against this bill during the 4 hour debate,” Massie said in a tweet. “The fix is in. If this bill is so great for America, why not allow a vote on it? Why not have a real debate?”
Many Republicans opposed his attempts to force an expanded vote, including Trump, who called Massie a “third rate Grandstander” and said stalling the bill would be “dangerous and costly.”
The historic relief bill comes at a time of significant bipartisan action to marshal resources to protect the lives of Americans and prevent an economic crash amid the outbreak.
“Workers & small businesses need money now in order to survive,” Trump said in a tweet. “Virus wasnt their fault.”
The president later announced he would be signing the bill in the Oval Office.
“Will be signing the CARE Act in the Oval Office today at 4:00 P.M. Eastern!” Trump wrote.
Will be signing the CARE Act in the Oval Office today at 4:00 P.M. Eastern! https://t.co/0WnTNFZPZD
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2020
I Take That Oath Seriously
In a series of 11 tweets, Massie explained his rationale for more debate on the bill and a different adoption process.
“I swore an oath to uphold the constitution, and I take that oath seriously,” Massie said.
“The Constitution requires that a quorum of members be present to conduct business in the House,” he continued. “Right now, millions of essential, working-class Americans are still required to go to work during this pandemic such as manufacturing line workers, healthcare professionals, pilots, grocery clerks, cooks/chefs, delivery drivers, auto mechanics, and janitors (to name just a few). Is it too much to ask that the House do its job, just like the Senate did?”
Because the vote wasnt recorded, it wasnt clear who voted which way, but the shout-outs sounded resoundingly in favor of the package. Lawmakers across the chamber applauded after the announcement.
The Congressman said his calls for more debate around the bill was “not delaying the bill like Nancy Pelosi did last week.”