Known for at times bucking his party and calling for the abolishment of government agencies he argues wastes money, Republican Congressman Thomas Massie says when there is high drama in the halls of Congress, pay attention to all of the spending happening behind the scenes. Washington reporter Eva McKend caught up with the Congressman gearing up to serve his fourth term.
In true libertarian form, Congressman Massie has spent much of his time in Congress railing against the astronomical federal deficit.
“When I came to Congress six years ago, the first thing I did was put a debt clock on the wall out there in my lobby. It was 16 trillion dollars, now it’s over 21 trillion dollars,” he said.
According to the inventor and entrepreneur, he’s read and then voted “no” on every omnibus spending bill knowing that one vote out of 435 will not block legislation but does have the potential to call attention to the content.
“When I tell people back home who think maybe I vote against too much spending is if I voted “no” too much on the spending bills and the debt has gone down too much, let me know,” he says with a smile.
You might find it odd then that Congressman Massie supports President Trump’s border wall at five billion dollars.
“I think the money that the President is asking for, for the wall, is going to eventually prove to be small in comparison to the welfare and the other issues we will have if we don’t do something about illegal immigration,” said Massie.
Experts at the libertarian leaning Cato Institute say undocumented immigrants don’t impose much of a fiscal cost and that though they consume some public services, they are ineligible for almost all welfare benefits and entitlement programs.
Next year will be the first time Massie will serve in a House controlled by Democrats but says before we look to the new Congress, it’s vital to keep track of the purse strings in this lame duck session.
“We are a week or two away from another omnibus vote and every bill of any consequence, they are delaying and they are going to try to put it into that omnibus bill. It’s likely at the end of the year, the omnibus will contain half a dozen other bills that have nothing to do with the omnibus bill but they’ll dare people not to vote for it and it will put the President in a difficult position too,” said Massie.