Trump blasts conservative lawmaker over opposition to relief package: ‘Third rate grandstander’
President Trump on Friday blasted Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) as a “grandstander” and called for him to be jettisoned from the Republican Party amid growing anticipation the lawmaker would object to the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package poised to be voted on by the House.
“Looks like a third rate Grandstander named @RepThomasMassie, a Congressman from, unfortunately, a truly GREAT State, Kentucky, wants to vote against the new Save Our Workers Bill in Congress,” Trump wrote in a pair of tweets Friday morning.
“He just wants the publicity. He can’t stop it, only delay, which is both dangerous & costly.”
Trump acknowledged that his administration had to make some “stupid” concessions in negotiations with Democrats to get a deal on legislation to help American workers and businesses impacted by the coronavirus.
But the president declared the legislation “90% GREAT” and recommended Republicans “throw” Massie out of the Republican Party.
“Workers & 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!” Trump tweeted. “WIN BACK HOUSE, but throw Massie out of Republican Party!”
The $2 trillion economic relief passage, which passed the Senate in a unanimous vote overnight Wednesday, was the result of days-long negotiations between the Trump administration and senators from both sides of the political aisle.
House Democrats vowed Friday morning that the lower chamber would pass the legislation later that day, despite a last minute hurdle created by Massie that forced lawmakers to scramble to return to Washington.
House leaders hoped to pass the bill unanimously in a voice vote, but Massie has threatened to force a roll call vote Friday morning on the legislation, which means that enough lawmakers would need to return to Washington to form a quorum for a floor vote.
Massie, a libertarian-minded lawmaker, objected to the bill in a tweet Thursday, raising concerns about the amount of money it would add to the national debt and calling it “not a good deal.”
The bill includes $1,200 one-time payments to many Americans, sets up a $500 billion corporate liquidity fund to help struggling industries like airlines, allocates $377 billion for aid to small businesses and boosts the maximum unemployment benefit by $600 per week for four months.
Trump has urged Congress to pass the legislation the past two days, saying he would sign it immediately.
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