- Ironically enough, Pelosi not three days before dismissing her colleagues claimed, “We are the captains of the ship—we are the last to leave.” Had Pelosi kept the House in session as the Senate passed the second coronavirus bill and debated the third, members would not have needed to travel back to Washington in the first place—they would have remained here.
- But when Massie requested a roll call vote, one-fifth of members (somewhere between 43 and 85, depending on the number of congressman present in the House chamber) would not agree, meaning the $2 trillion-plus bill passed on a voice vote, with lawmakers’ positions not recorded.
- The fear came because House lawmakers did not want to travel back to Washington to vote on the “stimulus.” The combination of several representatives and senators testing positive for coronavirus (with several others in self-isolation due to potential exposure), public advisories against large gatherings and travel, the close quarters in which members congregate in the Capitol, and the advanced age of some members made them understandably nervous about a return to Washington.
- Following Senate passage of the third coronavirus bill early Thursday morning, Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) should have instructed all members to report to Washington the following day.
- But unlike the Obamacare debate, House Republican leaders and many rank-and-file members of Congress actively participated in Pelosi’s successful attempt to deny the American people a vote on the legislation.
- Early on March 14, House leaders dismissed members to their districts, in an attempt (ultimately successful) to force the Senate to accept the second coronavirus bill without amendments.
- On Friday morning, Trump called Massie a “third rate grandstander” for insisting that members of Congress return to Washington to vote on the legislation.