A member of the House of Representatives confirmed on Friday morning that he would try to force an expanded vote on the CCP virus relief package passed by the Senate earlier this week.
“In a few moments I will request a vote on the CARES Act which means members of Congress will vote on it by pushing yes or no or present,'” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) wrote on Twitter.
Noting that some Americans in crucial industries such as grocery clerks, delivery drivers, and healthcare professionals are still going to work during the COVID-19 pandemic, Massie added: “Is it too much to ask that the House do its job, just like the Senate did?”
Massies move would force the House to wait until a quorum, or majority, of lawmakers are present. In the House currently, thats 216 members.
A voice vote was planned, which would have allowed the House to pass the bill even without a majority of members being present. A similar situation unfolded in 1918 during the Spanish flu. A call for a quorum caused a delay but was eventually withdrawn.
After Massie signaled late Thursday he planned to block the voice vote, some lawmakers began flying to Washington.
His move prompted widespread criticism, including from GOP President Donald Trump and some Republican lawmakers.
Trump called Massie a “third rate Grandstander” who ” just wants the publicity,” calling on Congress to quickly pass the package, which designates $2.2 trillion for most Americans, as well as some small businesses and corporations.
Some defended Massie, including Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas). He told Trump that Massie “is one of the most principled men in Congress” and said the lawmakers move amounted to “defending the Constitution today.”
Members were told in an updated schedule that debate on the package would start at 9 a.m. and there was a possibility a recorded vote was needed.