With inflation at its highest point in 40 years, Rep. Thomas Massie’s opposition to massive government spending bills in response to COVID-19 has been vindicated.
At the start of the pandemic, Massie maneuvered to force lawmakers to vote on record for the CARES Act that authorized $2.2 trillion in government spending. He cautioned that most of the money would not make it into the hands of normal Americans and that it would lead to staggering inflation down the road. The bill would later be augmented by an additional $1.9 trillion under President Biden and, all told, the federal government would spend $4.6 trillion on COVID relief.
“Today is the two-year anniversary of the first of a series of spending bills that caused the inflation we suffer today,” Massie tweeted this morning. “Thank you, Rep. Ken Buck, for standing with me. No other Congressman was willing to stand up and tell Pelosi and Trump they were making a huge mistake that day.”
Today is the two year anniversary of the first of a series of spending bills that caused the inflation we suffer today. Thank you @RepKenBuck for standing with me. No other Congressman was willing to stand up and tell Pelosi + Trump they were making a huge mistake that day. https://t.co/xFXSPK7rbQ
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) March 27, 2022
In a recent interview with McClatchy, Massie said that he now has members of Congress admitting that they made a mistake. “I should have stood with you then. You were right,” they tell him.
The congressman from Kentucky had another problem: leaders from both parties agreed that this historic and unprecedented spending bill would be passed by a parliamentary procedure called unanimous consent. Unanimous consent doesn’t require any member of the chamber to declare themselves in favor or against the bill, it is simply passed by the virtue of no one in the chamber raising an objection or calling for a tally of votes.
Massie announced that Reps. Kevin McCarthy and Nancy Pelosi had confronted him regarding his intention to block a voice vote on the legislation, explaining that they wanted to protect members of Congress from criticism that might arise later.
His attempt to hold Congress accountable was thwarted, but it forced hundreds of lawmakers to return to the Capitol. He warned that the bill would have devastating consequences for the economy and quickly became the most hated man in D.C. for his efforts.
Strange bedfellows began to appear as President Trump shared tweets criticizing Massie from former Secretary of State John Kerry who suggested Massie quarantine “to prevent the spread of his massive stupidity.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was quick to signal her agreement and applaud Massie for making the move that no one else would:
In a time of confusion @RepThomasMassie did the right thing.
If truck drivers could deliver our food and supplies and HCW were working around the clock, Congress could have at least voted on record. https://t.co/VdsMeM1lnc
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (@RepMTG) March 27, 2022
“In a time of confusion, Thomas Massie did the right thing,” she tweeted. “If truck drivers could deliver our food and supplies and HCW (healthcare workers) were working around the clock, Congress could have at least voted on record.”