President Donald Trump berated Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) on Friday, demanding the Republicans throw him out of the party for obstructing the massive coronavirus rescue package.
“WIN BACK HOUSE, but throw Massie out of Republican Party!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
The president described the famous Republican libertarian as a “third rate Grandstander” who was obstructing the bill.
“He just wants the publicity. He can’t stop it, only delay, which is both dangerous and costly,” Trump wrote.
Massie is expected to force a roll call vote in Congress on the $2 trillion emergency funding bill, requiring members of Congress to rush back to Washington instead of passing the bill unanimously by a voice vote.
If Massie demands a quorum, 216 members of Congress are needed to return to Washington to pass the bill.
The Kentucky congressman shared an image of text from the Constitution on Thursday, suggesting that he would demand a quorum.
It appears that Massie believes that members of Congress should be required to record a vote on one of the biggest spending bills in the history of the country.
But Trump described him as a “disaster for America” for holding up the vote.
Massie also reportedly called the White House on Friday morning to discuss his position but it is unclear whether they spoke.
Most members of the House of Representatives left town last week after passing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s $150 billion spending bill to help fight the coronavirus.
The Washington political establishment was sharply critical of Massie’s threatened political stance.
“It is quite the statement of his character that Thomas Massie is legitimately threatening the health of his colleagues, many in their 60s or 70s even 80s, for a stunt on a bill he knows is going to pass,” wrote Brendan Buck on Twitter, a former aide for Speaker John Boehner and Speaker Paul Ryan. “I hope no one forgets what he’s done here.”
“Risk of infection and risk of legislation being delayed. Disgraceful. Irresponsible,” wrote an angry Rep. Peter King on Friday morning.
Even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told reporters she would probably not demand a recorded vote on the stimulus
”There’s just a lot of members whose lives are at risk right now,” she said.
Former Secetary of State John Kerry called Massie an “asshole.”
“Congressman Massie has tested positive for being an asshole,” he wrote on Twitter. “He must be quarantined to prevent the spread of his massive stupidity. He’s given new meaning to the term #Masshole.”