This article has been updated since its original publication.
On Friday, after a week of partisan squabbles and petty “wish lists,” the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the historic $2 trillion economic stimulus package. President Trump signed it shortly after.
T Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed the House by a voice vote Friday, quashing an 11th hour effort by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) to require members to appear and vote in person, which would have been difficult given that certain members were under self-quarantine while others feared exposure to COVID-19.
“Leaders wanted to avoid a recorded vote because some members were self-quarantining or had concerns about risking exposure to the virus by traveling from their districts,” reported NPR. “Instead, leaders encouraged those who were at risk to stay home and post statements or videos on their position on the bill.”
Prior to the vote, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) referred to the bill as a “rescue package” promising the American people that leaders are looking out for them during this unprecedented time of crisis.
“This bill is not only a rescue package, it is a commitment…that your government and the people whom you elected to serve will do everything we can to limit the harm and hardship you face, both now and in the foreseeable future,” said McCarthy. “To the American public: If you do your part, I promise we will do ours.”
Prior to the historic vote, Rep. Massie objected to the bill’s price tag and threatened to derail it by calling for a quorum as opposed to the voice vote.
“The senate did some voodoo just like with Obamacare,” Massie tweeted Thursday. “Took a House Bill (HR 748) dealing with taxes, stripped every word, and put their bill in it. The House is just as responsible for killing the origination clause as the Senate. It’s the House’s job to reject the process.”
“$2 trillion (Congress) +$4 trillion (Fed & Treasury) [=] $6 trillion stimulus,” he followed up. “$6 trillion divided by 350 million citizens = $17,000 per citizen times a family of 4 =$68,000 per family of new national debt and dollar devaluation in this stimulus. not a good deal.”
In response, President Trump accused Massie of being a “third rate grandstander” for forcing a “dangerous and costly” delay.
“Looks like a third rate Grandstander named [Rep. Thomas Massie], a Congressman from, unfortunately, a truly GREAT State, Kentucky, wants to vote against the new Save Our Workers Bill in Congress,” the president tweeted. “He just wants the publicity. He can’t stop it, only delay, which is both dangerous [and] costly. Workers [and] small businesses need money now in order to survive. Virus wasn’t their fault. It is ‘HELL’ dealing with the Dems, had to give up some stupid things in order to get the ‘big picture’ done. 90% GREAT! WIN BACK HOUSE, but throw Massie out of Republican Party!”
“By empowering the Radical Left Democrats, do nothing Kentucky politician [Rep. Thomas Massie] is making their War on the 2nd Amendment more and more difficult to win (But don’t worry, we will win anyway!),” Trump continued. “He is a disaster for America, and for the Great State of Kentucky!”
UPDATE: Shortly after this article was published, news broke that President Trump signed the bill into law. The headline was updated to reflect that.