US President Donald Trump on Friday signed into law an unprecedented $2.2 trillion (€2.1 trillion) economic relief bill to help combat the financial implications of the coronavirus.
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said she was supporting the bill "not because it's flawless or even sufficient, but because the lives and the livelihoods of Americans are at risk".
"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. Public health officials have also said anyone traveling from NY should quarantine for 14 days, an issue for many members of Congress. His Democratic colleagues said he threatened the public safety of everyone in the Capitol. "But with the passing of the bill you will see that we will fight it together, and we will win together", McCarthy said.
But despite the pleas and taunts, Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie did it anyway, calling for a recorded vote on the largest economic stimulus package in U.S. history, briefly unifying nearly all of official Washington in their view of him as a nuisance.
The motion was declared adopted, and the chamber erupted with cheers and applause. The bill passed on March 27 by a voice vote of those present.
Democrats pointed out that Massie could've easily made clear that he opposed the legislation without trying to force the hands of Congressmen.
The legislation also provides $100 billion to hospitals; $350 billion to small businesses; $500 billion to corporations, including airline companies and cruise lines; and about $150 billion for state and local stimulus funds. It also provides $130 billion for hospitals as the USA healthcare system struggles to manage the influx of patients with the virus, also known as COVID-19. While speaking to reporters after the bill passed, he said House leaders were protecting members from being held accountable for their vote.
Trump said the package is "the single biggest economic relief package in American History - twice as large as any relief bill ever enacted". There was speculation, however, that Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., might demand a roll-call vote. "There is no attempt by Congress to reduce spending elsewhere in the budget to pay for this bill".
Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., asked Massie on Twitter to let his colleagues know if he meant to delay the bill's passage "RIGHT NOW so we can book flights and expend about $200,000 in taxpayer money to counter your principled but terribly misguided stunt".
With the help of the stimulus package, Trump said Friday that he is expecting a strong recovery toward the end of the year once the country rides out the health crisis.