LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The $2 trillion stimulus relief package will soon be on its way to millions of Americans.
Friday, however, a Kentucky congressman suffered some serious backlash from fellow lawmakers and President Donald Trump, who said he was grandstanding and put other lawmakers at risk, forcing some to go back to Washington after he tried to force a formal vote on Capitol Hill.
After Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican representing Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District, called for a recorded in-person vote on the stimulus bill, a Twitter war began led by President Trump.
In one Tweet Friday morning, the President said quote, “Looks like a third rate grandstander named Thomas Massie, a Congressman from unfortunately the great state of Kentucky, wants to vote against the new Save Our Workers Bill in Congress. He just wants the publicity.”
In a follow up tweet, the President said Massie was “A disaster for America.”
Others unloaded on Massie on social media as well, calling him a “selfish puke” and saying “when your congressional reps get sick and some die blame Thomas Massie.”
Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth, however, did not think his fellow Kentucky representative was making his stance for publicity.
“My thought is that Thomas Massie doesn’t really pay much attention to the President or anyone else," he said.
Yarmuth, who represents the 3rd Congressional District of Kentucky, didn’t try to get on a flight to Washington Friday as some lawmakers did after hearing Massie wanted a formal vote.
“Because of health concerns we were told to stay home," he explained.
The democratic congressman said with soaring unemployment numbers and so many Americans and businesses in desperate need financially, he never believed Massie would have enough support to stop a long distance vote, especially since the U.S. Senate passed the stimulus bill 96-0.
After the vote, Massie, a critic of the stimulus, told reporters that lawmakers should be required to vote in person, not via long distance.
“The truth, if you’re willing to report it,” he said, “is they don’t want a recorded vote. They don’t want to be on record of making the biggest mistake in history.”
Massie did ask for a recorded vote on the stimulus bill, but was denied when his colleagues stayed seated.
WAVE 3 News asked Massie’s Republican primary opponent Todd McMurtry if, like President Trump, he believed Massie’s move was a political stunt.
“It’s hard to understand what it is,” McMurtry said. “I think it’s completely unacceptable, and I think it’s disqualifying to him as a member of Congress.”
He continued by saying Massie is not an effective representative for the people he represents.
“He has a zero percent effectiveness rate and as it is he now probably has a negative 100 percent effectiveness rate,” McMurtry said.