Trump calls for ousting GOP lawmaker from party ahead of coronavirus relief vote

Friday morning President Trump blasted Rep. Thomas Massie for threatening to hold up the coronavirus relief bill in what many are calling a political stunt that is putting his colleagues at risk.

Trump 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!

By empowering the Radical Left Democrats, do nothing Kentucky politician @RepThomasMassie is making their War on the 2nd Amendment more and more difficult to win (But don’t worry, we will win anyway!). He is a disaster for America, and for the Great State of Kentucky!

Massie’s move being ill advised is one of the few things many conservatives and liberals agreed upon.

I get that @RepThomasMassie doesn’t like the bill. But it will pass and all he’s doing is delaying it and putting people at risk. No one would have thought less of him for not doing this. It’s a dick move and it’s stupid.

I might have a grudging respect for Thomas Massie if this were truly a principled stance, but it’s not. This is purely a move of vanity meant to bolster his profile, and in doing so, he is putting his colleagues and their staff and all their families at risk. It’s beyond selfish.

Per Reuters:

Here are some facts about Massie:

– Massie was first elected in 2012 with an assist from the conservative tea party movement, from a solidly Republican district in northern Kentucky along the Ohio River. An engineer by training who had built his own company on inventions he made, he beat two establishment Republicans in a primary election along the way.

– In his first House vote in 2013, Massie opposed the re-election of John Boehner as speaker. Massie aligned with conservative and libertarian Republicans who formed the Freedom Caucus in 2015, but did not join the caucus.

– By 2014, Massie had voted “no” so many times on legislation that Politico dubbed him “Mr. No.” He opposed about a third of measures that came up in his first year, voting against large and small bills sponsored by both parties, from defense spending legislation to a bill to award a gold medal to golf star Jack Nicklaus.

– Massie opposed many bills on a cost basis. He joked once that the buttons lawmakers push to register their votes on the House floor – which are labeled “yea” and “nay” – should be relabeled “spend” and “don’t spend,” USA Today reported.

– Massie voted twice against the election of former House Speaker Paul Ryan, a fellow Republican. Last year he was one of six Republicans to vote against his party’s candidate, Kevin McCarthy for Speaker; Massie voted instead for Republican Jim Jordan, a founding member of the Freedom Caucus. (Democrat Nancy Pelosi won)

– Sometimes Massie has worked across party lines on civil liberties issues, such as by opposing bulk data collection by the government. He favors loosening gun laws. He was one of three House Republicans to vote against relief for Hurricane Harvey in 2017, and one of two to vote against additional sanctions on North Korea.