Politics
1:44 pm
Sat December 22, 2012

Roll Call Profiles Congressman Thomas Massie as Tea Party Wonk

Kentucky Fourth District Congressman Thomas Massie
Credit U.S. Congress

The Beltway newspaper Roll Call profiled Kentucky Fourth District Congressman Thomas Massie, which shows the Tea Party backed lawmaker has a scientific background that could help in Washington.

Massie defeated Democrat Bill Adkins in the fall election for the seat vacated by retiring Geoff Davis earlier this year, and was sworn in last month.

Observers are already calling Massie the "next Rand Paul," but the former Lewis County Judge Executive has his own biography that includes much more than Tea Party politics. Besides taking courses at Massachusetts Institute of Technology under liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, Massie is known as a big of scientist for having 24 technology-related patents.

From Roll Call:

In person, Massie looks younger than his 41 years. He’s an unusual mix of earnestly wonkish scientist and charismatic schmoozer. He laughs easily and tells stories with verve, charm and a slight northern Kentucky twang.

Even discussing fiscal cliff policy, his voice stays even, although his passion about reducing the nation’s debt is clear.

“I think the cuts need to happen,” he said, noting that he supports the GOP position to redistribute the cuts embedded in sequestration. “But if we can’t, they still need to happen.”

In college, where political interest often blossoms,Massie had little. But he did have political professors. Liberal Nobel laureate Paul Krugman was his first macroeconomics teacher.

“It didn’t make sense then, and it doesn’t make sense now, his version of it,” Massie said, laughing.

But Massie, now a pro-gun, anti-abortion rights, pro-small-government conservative congressman, got an A in the course.

In Congress, Massie has been assigned to the committee on transportation and infrastructure, and has already sponsored legislation supporting the legalization of hemp.

The fourth district stretches across northern Kentucky to the West Virginia border, but also includes Louisville's East End.

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