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Rep. Thomas Massie Was Right

Massie Communication
One of President Trump’s few misfires in the management of the coronavirus panic was his blow-up at principled limited government constitutional conservative Rep. Thomas Massie who demanded a vote on the $2 trillion-plus epidemic relief bill.

When Massie asked for a vote on the bill, rather than agreeing to its passage through unanimous consent, Trump exploded on Twitter on Friday, calling Massie a “third rate Grandstander” who should be expelled from the Republican Party. He called the delay “both dangerous and costly.”

In one of his famous Twitter storms the President tweeted:

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. He just wants the publicity. He can’t stop it, only delay, which is both dangerous...

...& costly. 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! WIN BACK HOUSE, but throw Massie out of Republican Party!

The so-called dangerous delay was a few hours at most and had Nancy Pelosi and Democrats in Congress not spent several days trying to extort suffering Americans into agreeing to a laundry list of Far-Left political demands, the alleged urgency would have made a much less compelling argument for blindly passing the bill with no debate.

And what was even worse than the President’s Twitter tantrum was the reaction of the Uniparty’s Capitol Hill leaders: The floor leaders of both parties scrambled to stymie Massie. Within a few hours, they had established the rule of debate on the bill so that the Senate's version of CARES could be approved without a roll call vote.

And in a further insult to the Constitution Massie was denied the opportunity speak on the bill.

We find ourselves in agreement with Ron Elving, Senior Editor and Correspondent on the Washington Desk for NPR News, who provided this measured analysis of Rep. Massie’s principled stand:

Matt Welch, an editor-at-large for Reason, a libertarian magazine, called the CARES Act "a massive course of experimental economics" and compared the American public to "laboratory rats." Even the trillion-dollar stimulus package of President Barack Obama, opposed by Republicans in 2009, had not been so robust.

"There is no more politics of fiscal prudence in America," Welch added, "just a competition to see who can wag the biggest fire hose."

Indeed, some of the Republican senators who ultimately voted for the bill gave earnest speeches on the floor of the Senate this week bemoaning its necessity. Some invoked the spirit of Ronald Reagan's presidency or of the America he strove to represent and restore. (His 1980 campaign included the slogan: "Let's Make America Great Again.") Indeed, the Reagan era of the 1980s was in many ways a pushback on Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal — albeit a half century late.

"A sharp break with the past did in fact occur in March, 1933," wrote the historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., referring to FDR's first inauguration in the The Cycles of American History. "The essence of that break lay precisely in the changes from volunteerism to law as the means for ordering the economy."

Put another way, the 1933 break was between reliance on the individual and reliance on the collective, between libertarian conservatism and Big Government liberalism. Those competing forces have risen and fallen in relation to each other in our shared national experience ever since.

It would be too much, or at least too soon, to say that what happened in Congress this week was a comparable turning point in that long struggle. But to Thomas Massie and many like him, it must have felt much the same.

But putting the politics of this specific bill aside (although in today’s environment politics are never really set aside) we’d like to know at exactly what point we should all accept that it is necessary to ignore the Constitution?

As Rep. Massie pointed out in his own Twitter thread that was posted in lieu of what should have been his opportunity to speak on the bill he made several important points that we think more than justify his actions:

…The Constitution requires that a quorum of members be present to conduct business in the House. Right now, millions of essential, working-class Americans are still required to go to work during this pandemic such as manufacturing line workers, healthcare professionals, pilots, grocery clerks, cooks/chefs, delivery drivers, auto mechanics, and janitors (to name just a few). Is it too much to ask that the House do its job, just like the Senate did?

I am not delaying the bill like Nancy Pelosi did last week.  The bill that was worked on in the Senate late last week was much better before Speaker Pelosi showed up to destroy it and add days and days to the process.

This bill should have been voted on much sooner in both the Senate and House and it shouldn’t be stuffed full of Nancy Pelosi’s pork- including $25 million for the Kennedy Center, grants for the National Endowment for the Humanities and Arts, and millions more other measures that have no direct relation to the Coronavirus Pandemic. That $25 million, for example, should go directly to purchasing test kits. The number one priority of this bill should have been to expand testing availability and creation of tests This bill creates even more secrecy around a Federal Reserve that still refuses to be audited. It allows the Federal Reserve to make decisions about who gets what, how much money we’ll print. With no transparency.

If getting us into $6 trillion more debt doesn’t matter, then why are we not getting $350 trillion more in debt so that we can give a check of $1 million to every person in the country?

This stimulus should go straight to the people rather than being funneled through banks and corporations like this bill is doing.

2 trillion divided by 150 million workers is about $13,333.00 per person. That’s much more than the $1,200 per person check authorized by this bill.

If we accept that our elected leaders can ignore what some have sneeringly called constitutional niceties at this early stage of the epidemic response we can only imagine how much worse for constitutional liberty things are going to get, but by that time it will be too late to thank Rep. Thomas Massie for his principled warnings and objections to this massive assault on the Constitution and our federal system of limited government and ordered liberty.

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Thomas Massie

He is the only one in the Senate or House who is not making a political decision among the dems or a hypocrite among the republicans. We have republicans who put their conservatism(if there are any) on hold when considering this legislation. Totaly disgusting!!!