WASHINGTON, DC — Many members of Congress argue the roughly $500 billion for large corporations in the massive coronavirus relief stimulus package signed into law last week by President Donald Trump was critical to saving jobs and stabilizing the economy.
But one lawmaker is not so convinced.
These days conservative-libertarian Thomas Massie sounds a lot more like progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez than he does his Republican colleagues.
“It’s going to Wall Street. It’s going to the banks and it’s going to big companies and it’s also going to go to some small companies and some medium companies but most of it is going to the banks and to Wall Street,” said Massie.
Massie gained nationwide attention last week when he demanded members of Congress return to Washington to be held accountable for approving the more than two trillion dollar stimulus relief bill, the largest-ever economic stimulus package this nation has ever seen. He failed in his effort to secure a roll call vote. The Northern Kentucky Congressman argues the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act is riddled with problems.
“I’ve been saying the 1,200 dollars is the cheese in the trap here and it might sound good and people will be glad to get that check and it will be helpful I’m sure but most of the money is going somewhere else,” said Massie.
“One troubling thing is they could take an equity stake in these companies and that doesn’t seem like capitalism to me if the government is going to end up owning the means of production. That’s not a good thing. That’s the opposite of a free market company,” he added.
Reached by Skype, Spectrum News asked Massie if instituting remote voting could be the answer to getting members on the record during this uncertain time.
“I’m not really that opposed to remote voting. I haven’t thought it all the way through but I know why Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy are opposed to it. It’s hard to twist arms 2,000 miles away. I’ve seen votes on the floor where members of Congress take a vote and before the clock expires, the leadership comes to them and whispers something in their ear or shakes their fist at them and the member goes and changes their vote and the outcome is different,” he said.
McCarthy and Pelosi declined to respond to this accusation.
Massie plans to continue being a thorn in their sides in the coming weeks as he calls for free-market solutions to the global pandemic, testing everyone who wants to be tested, limited spending and deregulation.
“I don’t think we throw out the constitution because we have an emergency,” said Massie.
“We need to have hearings. We really do. Congress needs to get its act together. There’s nothing in the constitution that says you can’t have hearings by teleconference. We need to establish that quickly. The doctors all have different opinions. The economists all have different opinions. We need to get three or four doctors and three or four economists in a hearing and say look we need a strategy that doesn’t shut down the economy and also doesn’t spread this virus.”