Where Things Stand: Will We Have A Grandstander?

FRANKFORT, KY - JANUARY 31: Rep Thomas Massie (R-KY) draws a Ruger LCP handgun from his pocket during a rally in support of the Second Amendment on January 31, 2020 in Frankfort, Kentucky. Advocates from across the s... FRANKFORT, KY - JANUARY 31: Rep Thomas Massie (R-KY) draws a Ruger LCP handgun from his pocket during a rally in support of the Second Amendment on January 31, 2020 in Frankfort, Kentucky. Advocates from across the state gathered at the Kentucky Capitol in support of the Second Amendment. The rally will include speeches from Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and former Washington, D.C. Special Police Officer, Dick Heller. (Photo by Bryan Woolston/Getty Images) MORE LESS
March 27, 2020 12:42 p.m.
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It appears that we will.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) pledged Friday that he will stand in the way of passage of a $2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill in the House today, a stimulus package that President Trump himself has vowed to sign once it makes it’s way through Congress. Massie said Friday that he will stop the Senate-approved bill from passing via voice vote in the House, which will force lawmakers to come back to Washington, D.C. for a recorded vote.

Massie’s grandstanding appears to be fueled by libertarian convictions. He’s concerned about adding to the national debt and believes holding a vote without a plenum present is a violation of the Constitution. But these are desperate times. Many members have been avoiding the Capitol for days to curb the spread of the coronavirus after two lawmakers were diagnosed with the disease. Several others have self-quarantined over fear of exposure to carriers.

The lawmaker’s showboating won’t make House leadership happy. Both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) hoped to approve the measure by voice vote today. The pair have also been considering changing debate and voting rules as a precautionary measure. We’ll keep an eye on how this all plays out today. Here’s more on that and other stories we’re following:

What The Investigations Team Is Watching

Kate Riga is reporting on the impact COVID-19 has had on the funeral home business and the danger it presents to those who run them.

Tierney Sneed is looking into a new insurance obstacle that federal employees face when it comes to using telemedicine.

What The Breaking News Team Is Watching

Trump, who apparently thinks he knows more about combating the coronavirus than doctors do, claimed last night that New York hospitals don’t actually need 30,000 ventilators. “You go into major hospitals sometimes and they’ll have two ventilators,” he told Sean Hannity. “And now all of a sudden they’re saying ‘Can we order 30,000 ventilators?’” Trump has continued this tear via Twitter this morning. We’ll keep an eye on his latest remarks.

On the other side of the pond, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today that he had tested positive for COVID-19, which makes him the first major world leader to contract the coronavirus. This comes after Johnson downplayed the spread of the virus last month, joking to reporters that he was still “shaking hands.”

Today’s Rundown

Trump has nothing on his public schedule today, and has been tweeting all morning.

5:00 p.m. ET: The White House will hold is coronavirus task force news briefing.

Yesterday’s Most Read Story

This Is Very Important News From Italy. Please Read. — Josh Marshall

What We Are Reading

Dr. Fauci Doughnuts Are Selling Like Hotcakes At Donuts Delite — Marcia Greenwood

A Twitter Thread On How Triscuit Got It’s Name —  Sage Boggs

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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