All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.”U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 7, clause 1
Democratic and Republican House leaders were conspiring to quickly pass a $2.2T economic relief package by voice vote today. They claimed the decision to forgo a roll call vote was to accommodate members scattered around the country and reluctant to risk flying back to the Capitol. This is utter contempt for constitutional process and legislative responsibility exhibited by Congressional Representatives who can't be bothered to show up for work and vote to spend $2,200,000,000.00. Perhaps these Congressmen can be deemed non-essential workers but to do so will require a Constitutional Amendment to change Article 1.
By law, the bill in question should have originated in the House, passed from the House to the Senate for further deliberation and changes if necessary and then sent to the Resolute Desk for POTUS signature. The construction of the Chinavirus relief package bypassed the House of Representatives entirely and was negotiated between Sec. of Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Senators working over the weekend to finalize the bill. This is what happens when the leadership in the House of Representatives becomes so distrusted and irrelevant that the President refuses to include that body in the resolution of a national emergency. In a sad display of foot stomping wrath the Speaker of the House scuttled passage of the Senate bill earlier in the week, but everyone on The Hill knew she would eventually capitulate and pass what the Senate put in front of her.
Not so fast... The "grandstanding" Congressman Thomas Massie (Hero-Ky.) started the day demanding a roll-call vote on the House floor. This would require the House leaders to whip up 216 Representatives of the People to vote yea or nay on the Senate Bill. The political world went crazy demanding that Rep. Massie withdraw his plan to force a recorded vote and started calling him every kind of disparaging name they could think of. The truth is that Nancy Pelosi did not have the Democrat votes to pass the legislation and everyone knew the only way to get the bill to Trump was by having a no accountability voice vote of approval.
Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) used procedural shenanigans to keep Massie from speaking on the floor and demanding a recordable vote that would hold Congressmen to account. The leaders assembled a quorum, blocked Massie from speaking and then disbanded the quorum before taking a voice vote to approve a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.
"These people need to do their jobs, if they're telling people to drive a truck, if they're telling people to bag groceries and grow their food, then by golly, they can be in there and they can vote. And that's what we did this week, they came and you could see it didn't delay the vote any. They sat on their cans yesterday here, they didn't do a thing yesterday."Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.)
The House had a quorum milling around the Capital building yesterday. Those Representatives were sent home by leadership to justify a voice vote on the Chinavirus relief package today. It never would have passed if the vote had been recorded so the House of Representatives decided to scrap democracy on the largest financial expenditure in U.S. history. Now the bill will be sent to President Donald Trump for his signature and then the U.S. Treasury will start printing money while the Federal Reserve writes IOU's.
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