Massie was Judge-Executive of Lewis County, Kentucky, from 2011 to 2012. In 2012, he defeated Bill Adkins in the special and general elections to represent Northern Kentucky in Washington, D.C.
Massie has been described as a libertarian Republican and is associated with the Tea Party movement.
Thomas Massie was born in Huntington, West Virginia. He grew up in Vanceburg, Kentucky, and met his future wife, Rhonda. He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 1993, at MIT, he and his wife started a company called SensAble Devices Inc. Massie was the winner in 1995 of the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for inventors. The company was re-incorporated as SensAble Technologies, Inc., in 1996 after partner Bill Aulet joined the company. They raised $32 million of venture capital, had 24 different patents, and 70 other employees.
Massie sold the company, and he and his wife moved back to their hometown in Lewis County. They raised their children on a farm, where he built his own off-the-grid timberframe house.
In 2010, Massie pursued the office of Judge Executive of Lewis County, in order to fight what he considered wasteful spending and intrusion into the lives of the county's citizens by the government. Massie won the primary election, defeating the incumbent by a large margin, and went on to defeat his Democratic opponent by nearly 40 points. Massie also campaigned for then-U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul, speaking to various Tea Party groups on his behalf.
Massie resigned as Lewis County Judge-Executive, effective June 30, 2012.
In December 2011, Congressman Geoff Davis announced his decision to retire from his seat in Kentucky's 4th congressional district. Massie announced his decision to join the race on January 10, 2012. Massie was endorsed by Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, and Rand's father, Texas Congressman Ron Paul. He also received endorsements from FreedomWorks, Club for Growth, Gun Owners of America, and Young Americans for Liberty.
On May 22, 2012, Thomas Massie was elected as the Republican nominee for the 4th congressional district, beating his closest opponents, State Representative Alecia Webb-Edgington and Boone County Judge Executive Gary Moore, by a double-digit margin. In his victory speech, Massie thanked "the Tea Party, the liberty movement, and grassroots Ronald Reagan Republicans." Massie was challenged by Democrat Bill Adkins in the general election, and was expected to win the election by a wide margin. Massie resigned as Lewis County Judge-Executive, effective June 30, 2012, in order to focus on his campaign for U.S. Congress, and allow an election to be immediately held in order to replace him. He was succeeded by Deputy Lewis County Judge-Executive John Patrick Collins, who was appointed temporarily by Governor Steve Beshear. On July 31, 2012, Congressman Geoff Davis resigned from office, citing a family health issue for his abrupt departure. On August 1, 2012, the Republican Party committee for Kentucky's 4th Congressional district voted unanimously to endorse Massie as the party's nominee once a special election was called. A special election was called by Governor Steve Beshear to take place on the same day as the general election, November 6, 2012. This meant that Massie would be running in two separate elections on the same day—one for the right to serve the final two months of Davis' term, another for a full two-year term.
On November 6, 2012, Massie won both the general and special elections, defeating his opponent by a wide margin in both elections.
Massie was sworn into office immediately after the election, on November 13, 2012, filling the vacancy left by Geoff Davis. Massie was selected to serve on three committees, including the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Committee on Science, Space and Technology. He was also selected to become Chairman of the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, replacing outgoing Chairman Ben Quayle.
Massie voted against the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, otherwise known as the NDAA, and co-sponsored legislation in favor of industrial hemp, and repealing federal gun free zones in schools. Massie voted against the fiscal cliff deal, saying "This plan is Washington kicking the can down the road [...] The modest spending cuts agreed to in the 2011 debt ceiling deal are postponed by this bill. This bill does nothing to reform our bloated tax code — in fact the bill perpetuates Obama's failed stimulus spending within the tax code. Finally, it fails to address entitlement reform or the solvency of Social Security and Medicare." Massie was the sole member of the House to vote "present" on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of Iran's nuclear agreement, citing constitutional concerns that the treaties are not ratified by the House of Representatives and that he had no authority to vote for or against the nuclear deal
Massie broke from the majority of his party by opposing the reelection of Speaker of the House John Boehner, instead casting his vote for Republican Congressman Justin Amash of Michigan. In May 2013, he voted against the Stolen Valor Act of 2013, which passed 390 to 3. In December 2013, he was the only congressman to vote against the Undetectable Firearms Act.
In March 2014, Massie voted against a bill to name Israel an American strategic partner. Massie voted no because this bill would have subsidized green energy companies in Israel. He said he would not support subsidies for American green energy companies, let alone foreign ones. However, the bill passed by a margin of 410-to-1. In May 2014, Massie objected to a voice vote to award golf star Jack Nicklaus a gold medal recognizing his "service to the nation", and demanded a roll call vote. The vote passed easily, 371 to 10. Through mid-June 2014, Massie had voted "no" at least 324 times in the 113th Congress – opposing one of every three measures that came to the House floor. Politico named him "Mr. No". In November 2016, Massie voted against an extension of U.S. sanctions against Iran, the only member of the House to do so.
Massie identifies himself as a constitutional conservative. He believes in intellectual property and thinks it is necessary for incentivizing innovation. Massie has remarked that this is one of the areas in which he does not identify as libertarian.
In 2017, Massie introduced a one-page bill that would abolish the United States Department of Education, and cosponsored a bill that would abolish the Environmental Protection Agency.
On April 5, 2017, in a CNN interview with Kate Bolduan, Massie expressed skepticism over the role of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in the 2017 Khan Shaykhun chemical attack.
On May 4, 2017, Massie was the sole House member to vote against sanctions on North Korea, which the final vote was 419-1.
In July 2017, Thomas Massie joined Reps. Justin Amash, John Duncan Jr. (R-TN) and Sens.Rand Paul (R-KY) Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in opposing a bill that would impose new economic sanctions against Russia, Iran, and North Korea. President Trump opposed the bill, pointing out that relations with Russia were already “at an all-time and dangerous low.” He did, however, sign the bill though likely out of political pressure. Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Subcommittee on Government Operations
Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care and Entitlements
Committee on Science, Space and Technology
Subcommittee on Energy
Subcommittee on Technology
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
Subcommittee on Aviation
Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials
Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment
Massie operates a cattle farm in Garrison, Kentucky with his wife Rhonda and their four children. They live in a solar-powered home that Massie built himself. He is a Christian.