Awarding a medal to Mr. Nicklaus, Mr. Massie argued, “is not a good use of our resources,” adding that the golfer “didn’t die on the golf course.”
His unwillingness to bend on even the smallest issue has charmed a slew of powerful conservative groups, including the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks. His closest friends on Capitol Hill are Representative Justin Amash, the Republican turned independent from Michigan who is also a frequent invoker of constitutional principle, and Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky.
Mr. Paul provoked the ire of his colleagues this week for continuing to work in the Capitol while awaiting coronavirus test results that came back as positive. (Mr. Massie, in a nod to his friendship with Mr. Paul, for years sported a “Stand With Rand” decal on his Tesla.)
But that approach found few admirers on Friday. His primary race challenger, Todd McMurtry, who has accused Mr. Massie of being insufficiently supportive of Mr. Trump, eagerly seized on the president’s comments, saying he agreed with Mr. Trump’s assessment that Mr. Massie was “a disaster for America.”
Nor were Mr. Massie’s colleagues — a majority of them older or with a pre-existing health condition — amused. Many were privately terrified of the health risks of traveling. Shingles and lice, one senior Democratic aide said, were more popular than Mr. Massie.
The normally affable Representative Dean Phillips, Democrat of Minnesota, used Twitter to confront him, tagging Mr. Massie in his broadside.
“If you intend to delay passage of the #coronavirus relief bill tomorrow morning, please advise your 428 colleagues RIGHT NOW,” Mr. Phillips wrote, “so we can book flights and expend ~$200,000 in taxpayer money to counter your principled but terribly misguided stunt.”
Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/27/us/politics/thomas-massie-coronavirus.html