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Rep. Thomas Massie. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) told Todd Starnes' radio show Monday that he would seek to force a House roll-call vote on a potential fourth coronavirus stimulus package, calling his House colleagues "cowards" who "don't want to show up for work."

Why it matters: Massie drew bipartisan ire after a similar threat regarding last month's stimulus package forced hundreds of lawmakers to travel back to Washington in the midst of the pandemic.

  • The House had hoped to approve the measure by voice vote to reduce the risk of exposure for members who would be forced to travel.

What he said:

"By calling them out on the Constitution and making them come to Washington, D.C., in order to pass a bill, they're finding it harder to pass this next bill because they know they're all going to have to come to work. They know I will get in my car and drive there and make them vote on it.
And my colleagues, a lot of them, frankly, are cowards. They are telling supermarket workers to go to work, they are telling the truckers to keep driving, yet they don't want to show up for work. So by forcing them to come to work on the third bill, I've forestalled at least for a moment the ridiculousness of the fourth bill that Nancy Pelosi has been talking about."

The big picture: Before Congress can move onto a fourth stimulus bill, it's still hammering out issues with the third bill — namely, fears that the $350 billion small business Paycheck Protection Program will soon run dry.

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated the administration is open to working with Democrats on some of their proposals, sources said, despite growing frustration among Republicans who argue Democrats are holding small business funding hostage for programs that still have money in their accounts.

Go deeper

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker will not seek re-election in 2022

Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker (R) speaking during a press conference in November 2021. Photo: Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R), a moderate who typically ranks as one of the nation's most popular governors, said Wednesday that he and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito (R) will not seek third terms in 2022.

Why it matters: The decision leaves the gubernatorial race wide open and will likely affect multiple down-ballot races next year. Baker was expected to be the front-runner had he joined the race.

3 hours ago - Health

CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers

Travelers with their luggage arrive at a COVID-19 testing location at the airport in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 23, 2021. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday night that it is working to impose stricter testing requirements for international travelers due to the spread of the new Omicron variant.

The big picture: The new rules would require all international travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to show a negative test taken a day before their flight to the U.S. Currently, the CDC says fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to show a test taken no more than three days before their departure, AP reports.

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.