Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky is upsetting members of the House of Representatives on both sides of the aisle by demanding end of the year voting be done by roll call rather than streamlining the process via voice votes.
“They’ve suspended my right to get a vote on matters of war, so I’m exercising my right to get a vote on everything else,” Massie told The Daily Caller News Foundation Thursday, referring to a resolution he co-sponsored in September that would withdraw U.S. support from Yemen.
Under the War Powers Act, the Yemen resolution would require a vote within 15 days, however, the resolution was ultimately disposed of after Republican leadership tacked a rule onto legislation removing gray wolves from the endangered species list. The rule declared that the War Powers Act did not apply to the Yemen resolution.
Massie, and co-sponsor Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna of California, tried to revive the resolution in December, but rather than using arbitrary legislation again to deprive the Yemen resolution of privileges under the War Powers Act, House leadership moved to prevent any resolution from receiving privileges under the War Powers Act until the end of Congress.
A provision was buried in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, more commonly referred to as “the farm bill,” which denied a floor vote on any war powers resolutions limiting the U.S.’s involvement in Yemen.
In response, Massie has been objecting to voice votes in the House and requiring legislation to be voted on through a roll call. The move has reportedly infuriated various members of Congress since it slows down the passage of bills. (RELATED: Thomas Massie Gives Thanks For Democrats Ignorance On Guns)
“House members furious at Thomas Massie right now. Several have expressed their displeasure to him,” tweeted Manu Raju, CNN’s Senior Congressional Correspondent. “He’s making them take many roll call votes — rather than quick voice votes — as a way to protest GOP leaders denying vote on resolution to pull US support from Saudi-led war in Yemen.”
“Confirmed,” replied Republican Pennsylvania Rep. Ryan Costello on Twitter.
Massie acknowledged the backlash from his fellow lawmakers, tweeting that his colleagues were “annoyed to record their position on 10 bills tonight” which he state was “mainly because doing their jobs made them late to dinners and parties.” He also noted that it only takes five minutes per vote.
He later repeated the sentiments to TheDCNF, saying that “mostly they’re just upset that they have to come to work while they’re in Washington.”
The Kentucky congressman told TheDCNF that he would withdraw his objections if two criteria are met:
“Number one, tell us which bills they’re planning to pass with unanimous consent at the end of the year,” he said. “There’s always this flurry of bills, they don’t even tell us what they are.”
Massie explained that legislation appears on the House floor to be voted on without any prior information or allotted time to read the bill. Accordingly, the bills get passed through unanimous consent after many congressmen have left Washington, D.C., for the holidays.
And number two, “Undo this precedent on suspending the War Powers Act.”
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