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Trump Rails on Massie Over Coronavirus Relief Bill

UPDATE: Rep. Thomas Massie issued a response on Twitter and this story has been updated to include his remarks.

President Donald Trump unleashed on Northern Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie in a series of tweets on Friday morning.

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Trump called Massie, a Republican from Lewis County first elected in 2012, "a third rate Grandstander" over Massie's position on the federal coronavirus emergency relief package. The legislation was adopted unanimously in the Senate, 96-0, and now is being considered in the House.

According to Politico:

House Republican leadership has been concerned that Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) will move to demand a recorded tally as opposed to a voice vote on the historic stimulus measure, throwing a last-minute obstacle in the legislation's path to the president's desk. The threat has forced dozens, if not hundreds, of lawmakers to return to Washington from their home districts, traveling on interstates and through airports at a time when public health officials have urged Americans to avoid travel and large groups.

The $2 trillion dollar legislation is expected to offer financial relief to individual Americans, businesses, and some organizations after the disruption of the economny and typical everyday life due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 global pandemic that has forced measures of social distancing and the shuttering of schools, businesses, and events in an effort to slow the spread of the deadly respiratory virus.

There are currently nineteen confirmed cases in Northern Kentucky and 248 across the state. There are roughly 600,000 confirmed cases across the world, and more than 25,000 people have died. Some American locations like New York City and Washington state have been disproportionately hit hard by the virus.

Massie has been critical of the expense.

"The senate did some voodoo just like with Obamacare," Massie wrote on Twitter Thursday. "Took a House Bill (HR 748) dealing with taxes, stripped every word, and put their bill in it. The House is just as responsible for killing the origination clause as the Senate. It’s the House’s job to reject the process."

He later took to Twitter again on Friday and responded with his concerns about the legislation.

Read all of Massie's tweets in the thread here.

"This bill creates even more secrecy around a Federal Reserve that still refuses to be audited. It allows the Federal Reserve to make decisions about who gets what, how much money we’ll print. With no transparency," Massie tweeted. "If getting us into $6 trillion more debt doesn’t matter, then why are we not getting $350 trillion more in debt so that we can give a check of $1 million to every person in the country?"

"This stimulus should go straight to the people rather than being funneled through banks and corporations like this bill is doing."

Massie is being challenged in the Republican primary, now scheduled for June 23 after being postponed by concerns over the coronavirus, by Northern Kentucky attorney Todd McMurtry, who has criticized Massie for what he sees as not being a reliable vote for Trump policies.

McMurtry became well known in the region and appeared on national news outlets as the attorney representing Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann in his lawsuits against major news organizations over coverage of a January 2019 encounter with protesters on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

This story may be updated.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher