L-R: Reps. Betty McCollum, Peter Stauber, Angie Craig, and Dusty Johnson, via Dusty Johnson on Twitter

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.

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:


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.

Pep. Peter King (R-New York), wasn't a fan of having to come out of quarantine either:

Other members of both houses agreed: What a jerkwad.

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.

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.

[WaPo / CNN]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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