Massie defiant, criticizes leaders for preventing him from speaking on floor

Rep. Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieHouse holds first-ever proxy votes during pandemic House GOP lawmaker breaks with party to back proxy voting House adopts historic rules changes to allow remote voting MORE (R-Ky.) blasted Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump tweets as tensions escalate across US Judd Gregg: Biden — a path to the presidency, or not Trump asserts his power over Republicans MORE (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTop GOP lawmakers invite Blue Dogs to meet with China Task Force over coronavirus probe Key races to watch in Tuesday's primaries Hillicon Valley: Trump signs order targeting social media legal protections | House requests conference with Senate after FISA vote canceled | Minneapolis systems temporarily brought down by hackers MORE (R-Calif.) on Friday for not allowing him to speak on the floor before the House approved a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.

Massie had sought to force a roll-call vote on the measure, earning a condemnation from President TrumpDonald John TrumpFauci says his meetings with Trump have 'dramatically decreased' McEnany criticizes DC mayor for not imposing earlier curfew amid protests Stopping Israel's annexation is a US national security interest MORE in the process and criticism from a number of members of Congress. 

By asking for the roll-call vote, Massie forced a number of lawmakers to return to Washington, despite social distancing measures against large gatherings. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Leaders in both parties found a way around Massie's move when not enough members in attendance rose to support Massie's demand for a roll-call vote. The measure was then passed by voice vote.

The outcome of Friday's vote was never in much doubt given broad support for the measure, so critics of Massie saw his actions as largely self-serving. 

Another member of Congress, Rep. Joe CunninghamJoseph CunninghamGun control group rolls out House endorsements The Hill's Campaign Report: DOJ, intel to be major issues in 2020 Human Rights Campaign rolls out congressional endorsements on Equality Act anniversary MORE (D-S.C.), announced not long after the bill's passage that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. 

But Massie was defiant and blasted the process, which he noted allowed lawmakers to back the spending measure without having their names on the record.

“It’s pretty clear now, with enough members here to pass the bill, that Pelosi and McCarthy are still working together to block a recorded vote just to insulate members of Congress from ACCOUNTABILITY," Massie said on Twitter. 

Biggest spending bill in the history of mankind, and no recorded vote? #SWAMP,” Massie tweeted just ahead of the bill passing via voice vote. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Massie told reporters after the vote he believes "it's a big cover-up," arguing leaders were attempting to protect members from "political ramifications."

"They're trying to cover up their votes. They had enough people there to pass the bill, but they still refuse to have a recorded vote, and they told me they were trying to protect members," he said.

Massie went on to allege the argument that his tactics delayed the bill are unfounded, adding he believes the measure is the "biggest mistake in history."

"These people need to do their jobs, if they're telling people to drive a truck, if they're telling people to bag groceries and grow their food, then by golly, they can be in there and they can vote. And that's what we did this week, they came and you could see it didn't delay the vote any. They sat on their cans yesterday here, they didn't do a thing yesterday," he continued.

"They were trying to say this would delay it, to have a recorded vote. The truth, if you're willing to report it, is they don't want to record it, they don't want to be on record of making the biggest mistake in history."