U.S. Representative Thomas Massie enraged President Donald Trump and leaders of Congress by trying to delay a planned Friday voice vote on a $2.2 trillion coronavirus economic rescue plan, drawing calls from the White House to throw him out of the Republican Party.
Even before the 49-year-old drew Trump’s ire on Twitter, he had been a thorn in the side of both parties for so long that he’s nicknamed “Mr. No.”
“Throw Massie out of Republican Party!” Trump tweeted on Friday.
Massie unsuccessfully sought to have a member-by-member vote in the House on the coronavirus bill, but officials used House rules to deny his request, allowing it to pass with a simple voice vote.
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 party nominating contest, 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.
But he voted in 2017 for hefty tax cuts promised by Trump, although they were projected to widen the deficit. “It is irresponsible to increase spending and decrease taxes, which is why I consistently vote to decrease spending and decrease taxes,” he said at the time.
– 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.