Ky.Rep. Massie says the GOP shares some of the blame on inflation
Rep. Thomas Massie said Republicans share some of the blame for the current spike in inflation because of their support for the first $2 trillion coronavirus relief package signed by President Trump two years ago.
“They’re trying to put all the blame on Joe Biden, when really the blame is on Congress under Biden and Trump,” Massie told McClatchy in a recent interview.
It’s a statement that could potentially undermine the Republican message that rising inflation is squarely the fault of the Democrats, who took full control of Washington 14 months ago.
In late March 2020, the Northern Kentucky congressman drew ire from both parties and then-President Trump for trying to force a recorded vote on the Cares Act, rather than accelerating funding through a vote. vocal.
Massie objected to the cost of the bill and believes the United States has spent far too much money on relief measures. He lost then and pandemic funding has flowed through Congress, but the Republican congressman from the 4th district now says the inflation crisis validates his lone stance.
“Now I have Republicans coming up to me in the House and saying, ‘I should have been with you then. You were right,” Massie said. “I’d rather be right in the long run than right now.”
Inflation in the United States has hit a 40-year high, rising nearly 8% over the past year, pushing up the prices of gasoline, food and housing just as the country seems to be emerging from a two-year pandemic. But in the advent of the coronavirus outbreak, a wide range of lawmakers, including Republican leader Mitch McConnell, called the Cares Act a necessary tool to keep the economy afloat through gradual shutdowns and uncertainty. widespread.
The Care Act included cash payments to individuals, additional unemployment benefits, and support for businesses, hospitals, safety net programs, and state and local governments.
Massie, whom Trump called a “third-rate court” at the time, points out that his opposition was not politically advantageous.
Instead of blowing cash into American hands, Massie said he would have devised a Manhattan-like project to fight the virus, allowing universities and scientific institutions across the country to develop treatments and cures. before the advent of vaccines.
“Why we are closing all research institutions instead of having them all working on fighting this virus baffles me,” he said.
Massie said he could have supported limited unemployment benefits for people who have contracted COVID-19, so they don’t have to work while infected. But he said the $6 trillion in COVID relief that has been appropriated by Congress over the past two years has only contributed to inflation that is now driving interest rates higher.
“It didn’t make sense to pay healthy people to stay home and not work,” Massie said. “And it was just way too much money.”