One GOP Asshole Is Why House Can't Have Nice Things
As the House of Representatives prepared to pass the Senate's $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill today, one Republican congressman, Thomas Massie of Kentucky, decided it would be the perfect opportunity to stand up for his principles by shutting down Speaker Nancy Pelosi's plan to pass the bill by "unanimous consent." There was overwhelming bipartisan support for the bill, but Massie insisted on trying to block passage of the bill through a voice vote. His gambit didn't work, and the House passed the bill with a voice vote just a short time ago.
Still, Massie got a minute in the national spotlight, saying he'd come to "make sure our Republic doesn't die by unanimous consent in an empty chamber," and demanding a recorded vote. CNN details the parliamentary procedure that put an end to his fun little trick, which required members of both parties to take flights to DC and come to the House, potentially exposing themselves to the virus.
To maintain social distancing, quite a few of the House members gathered in the gallery above the floor, so nobody would have to be too close to anyone else. To stop Massie, congressional leadership needed two things: a quorum of at least 216 members, and a bit of gamesmanship to block Massie's motion for a full vote from getting a second. A fifth of the members in the chamber would have had to stand up and be counted in favor of a second, and nope, that didn't happen, so the measure passed, and Donald Trump is expected to sign it into law.
WATCH: Rep. Massie of Kentucky attempts to force a roll-call vote but was denied as there were at least 216 House m… https://t.co/SPLoZvgeyS— NBC Politics (@NBC Politics)1585331523.0
But at least now Sen. Ted Cruz can probably rest easy, safe in the knowledge that for a little while at least, he's no longer the most hated member of Congress. Rand Paul already got him beat anyway.
Who's pissed at Massie? Pretty much everyone from both parties. Donald Trump literally called for Massie to be thrown out of the Republican party, possibly because Trump can't stand for anyone being a bigger asshole than he is:
...& costly. Workers & small businesses need money now in order to survive. Virus wasn’t their fault. It is “HELL”… https://t.co/B4qko8ZznC— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1585316690.0
Trump's tweet even won support from former senator and secretary of State John Kerry, who got salty. Pottymouthed John Kerry is best John Kerry.
Breaking news: Congressman Massie has tested positive for being an asshole. He must be quarantined to prevent the s… https://t.co/qQ4wOVU8fY— John Kerry (@John Kerry)1585320955.0
Pep. Peter King (R-New York), wasn't a fan of having to come out of quarantine either:
Heading to Washington to vote on pandemic legislation. Because of one Member of Congress refusing to allow emergenc… https://t.co/OwAnQDltuB— Rep. Pete King (@Rep. Pete King)1585306622.0
Other members of both houses agreed: What a jerkwad.
I can confirm that @RepThomasMassie is indeed a dumbass. https://t.co/V86qXgxYzh— Sean Patrick Maloney (@Sean Patrick Maloney)1585328873.0
The complete waste of time and trouble even led to some bipartisanship, like this planeload of socially distanced and presumably annoyed Midwesterners: South Dakota Republican Dusty Johnson, Minnesota Republican Pete Stauber, and Minnesota Dems Betty McCollum and Angie Craig.
A bipartisan (and socially distanced) flight to DC this morning to vote on Coronavirus economic relief.… https://t.co/RU0K4VGPqu— Rep. Dusty Johnson (@Rep. Dusty Johnson)1585310715.0
With the vote out of the way and Rep. Massie satisfied that he prevented America from being killed, the House recessed, and Massie can get back to never explaining why universal voting by mail would ALSO kill the Republic. Seems it's a pretty fragile thing, this Republic of ours, and should probably not be exposed to any viral assholes.
@RepThomasMassie Care to explain why everyone being able to vote would be the end of the republic?— Doktor Zoom (@Doktor Zoom)1585091497.0
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