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McCarthy slams Rep. Massie over roll-call vote bid: ‘We have a number of members who have the virus’

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., admonished Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., who McCarthy said forced dozens of lawmakers to risk contagion and return to Washington to vote on the $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid package.

“We have a number of members who have the virus. We have a number of members who are quarantined,” McCarthy told “Bill Hemmer Reports,” implying that Massie had put his collegues at risk by forcing them together in a bid for head off a roll-call vote.

Massie told reporters that the bipartisan outrage he caused was due to the fact the rest of the House was trying to “cover up their votes” by doing a “voice vote” — which he said is rarely used for such important legislation.

“They had enough people to pass the bill, but still refused to have it recorded,” Massie said, later telling Harrisburg, Pa., radio host Ken Matthews — who was substituting for Rush Limbaugh on Friday — that he hoped his actions would make leadership think more about the proceedings and raise the prospect of a recorded vote should another massive stimulus bill come down the pipeline.



“If you are in New York City, you can’t make it down. [Members] will fly through the major airports who have problems and people who have their spouses who are pregnant, who have the parents who lived with him. It is a challenge to make sure to come back but we want to make sure this was passed,” McCarthy said. “The Democrats have held this up but we could have got it done earlier in the week.”

“We did not pass it with unanimous consent. I would never agree to that. We were able to have three hours of debate,” he said, adding that absent lawmakers could send notices “to the desk” saying which way they would have voted.

One lawmaker in the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., wrote in a lengthy Facebook post that the “voice vote” rule was meant for resolutions exactly like the coronavirus aid package — “emergency legislation with widespread support.”


King said he left his Seaford, N.Y. home early Friday in order to drive the 275 miles to Washington and called Massie’s objections “disgraceful and irresponsible.”


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