Kentucky lawmaker opposes small business loan vote

Posted at 7:17 AM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 07:34:57-04

(LEX 18) — As Congress prepares to discuss giving out more funding in small business loans, one Kentucky politician may delay the process.

State Representative Thomas Massie indicated Wednesday that he will oppose any attempt to pass new funding for small business loans through the House by unanimous consent or voice vote.

These two ways of voting are commonly used in the House to pass uncontroversial measures quickly. Any one member can object to a unanimous consent or voice vote request.

Last month, Congress gave about $350 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, a small business loan to keep workers on the payroll. Now, President Donald Trump wants to give out an additional $250 billion for businesses with fewer than 500 employees. The funding would help cover salaries, benefits, and other costs like mortgages, rent, and utilities.

Representative Massie’s objection is familiar. At the end of March, he attempted to force a full House vote on the $2.2 trillion dollar CARES Act, which made hundreds of lawmakers return to Washington during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to block his effort. That caused backlash against Massie.

Massie argued the House should institute a remote voting system so members can avoid travel and vote on legislation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly shot down this concept though.