House passes $2.2T stimulus bill, despite Ky. congressman's efforts

Published: Mar. 27, 2020 at 8:24 AM EDT
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House leaders' plan for swift action on a $2.2 trillion package to ease the coronavirus pandemic's devastating toll on the U.S. economy and health care system ran into complications, but ultimately passed on Friday afternoon.

A maverick conservative lawmaker had threatened to delay passage until most lawmakers returned to Washington for a vote.

, a Kentucky Republican, has threatened to try to force a roll call vote.

Congressman Massie represents Kentucky's

. That's the northern portion of the state running between Jefferson County and the West Virginia border. (It includes Harrison County.)

Lawmakers had been trying to get the $2.2 trillion stimulus package through quickly.

Congressman Massie tweeted a math problem saying stimulus from Congress, the Treasury and the Fed total up to $17,000 per citizen of new national debt and dollar devaluation.

He made the point that even though most of that money isn't going to individuals, they'll end up paying for it eventually.

He voted for the first coronavirus 'relief' bill about fighting the virus.

Thursday, Rep. Massie

why he opposes the stimulus bill.

"If it were just about helping people to get more unemployment [benefits] to get through this calamity that, frankly, the governors have wrought on the people, then I could be for it," Massie said. "But this is $2 trillion."

Party leaders had hoped to pass the measure by voice vote without lawmakers having to take the risk of traveling to Washington.

Instead they had to urge lawmakers who were "willing and able" to come to the Capitol Friday for a vote.

Congressman Barr's office tells us he drove from Lexington to Washington DC through the night so that he'd be there in the House for the stimulus vote.

Rep. Massie was not granted time to speak during four hours of debate on the House floor Friday, but he did formally object to the House's voice vote on the matter.

"I came here to make sure our republic doesn't die by unanimous consent," Rep. Massie said. His request for a recorded vote was refused, and his objection was overruled because a quorum was present in the chamber.