January 2nd, 2013
11:29 AM ET
1 year ago

King blasts his own party over scrapped vote on Sandy relief measure

Washington (CNN) - Republican Rep. Peter King of New York had blistering criticism Wednesday for his own party's leadership following their decision in the House not to vote on a relief measure for Superstorm Sandy in this congressional session. The GOP House leadership, he said, "has turned its back on those people" who continue to suffer after the late October storm devastated parts of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

After passing the scaled-back fiscal cliff measure shortly before midnight, the House did not take up the $60 billion measure which passed the Senate in late December, as King said members of the House leadership had promised him.

"There's some dysfunction in the Republican leadership," he said in an interview on CNN. "For some reason, the speaker is taking it out on New York, Long Island, and New Jersey."

King said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor had worked with representatives of the tri-state area and promised the vote would happen before the new Congress is sworn in on Thursday. The new Congress will mean the legislative process must be restarted.

King said he had a sense Republican leaders were avoiding him and a firm decision on the vote early Tuesday evening. King said he was "chasing [Boehner] all over the House," and eventually the speaker left without telling King and other members there would be no vote on the relief measure. Word of the scrapped vote emerged through staff members, and frustrated congressmen took their criticism to the House floor early Wednesday morning after the fiscal cliff deal passed.

One of the boiling points, he said, was when Boehner yelled at a member of the delegation who demanded a meeting to discuss the speaker's intentions.

King said he held Boehner responsible for the decision not to vote.

A senior aide to Republican House leadership said Wednesday that Boehner would make the supplemental appropriation "his first priority in the new Congress." An aide to Boehner said the speaker would meet with the New York and New Jersey delegations Wednesday afternoon.

In his interview, King blasted Republicans for tapping his state's wealth in campaign fundraisers, then turning their back on the state.

"These Republicans have no problem finding New York when they want money," he said on CNN.

In particular, King had sharp criticism for the House Appropriations Committee chairman, Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Kentucky.

"First, he doesn't know what he was talking about," King said in response to Rogers' point that FEMA had sufficient funding for at least two more months of relief effort, "and secondly, Hal Rogers has no problem coming to New York to raise money."

"Hal Rogers can play his game, he can suck up to the Republican speaker if he wants to, but he should stay out of New York," King continued. "Stay out of New York, Hal, raise your money down in Kentucky."

He expected the political consequences would include "Republican seats in the Northeast that I think were lost last night" due to the House leadership's move.

"There are a number of Republicans who may be able to kiss their seats goodbye because of what was done to them, not because of what they did, but what was done to them," he said. "Because the issue is if you can't provide the most basic assistance for your district, who needs you in Congress?"

King planned to carefully consider how to vote with future measures, holding his vote "in abeyance." He stopped short of saying he would vote to buck Boehner's speakership and although his frustration was high, he said he would not leave the GOP. "I'm going to do what I have to do," King said, adding he is "independent minded" and felt as though his party had "written me off."

"I would say the Republican Party has said it is the party of family values," he said. "Last night it turned its back on the most essential value of all, and that is to provide food, shelter clothing, and relief for people who have been hit by a natural disaster. And I would say that the Republican Party has turned its back on those people."

The superstorm started as a tropical storm in the Caribbean Sea. The storm strengthened to hurricane-level and left 113 people dead in the U.S.


Filed under: New York • Peter King
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Congressional Hypocrisy

    Its super to see House republicans destroy people. Its even sweeter to see House republicans attack other House republicans for destroying people.

    January 2, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. Mike

    Gee-

    Draconian spending cuts sound good- until they are aimed at your own district!

    January 2, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. THE U.S. IS BROKE

    Just think of it as payback for inflicting on the rest of the country the likes of Senators Schumer, Clinton, Lautenberg and Menendez.
    Oh, and by the way, has New York and New Jersey ever heard of INSURANCE???? It pays for things that get broken in storms.

    January 2, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. myviewis

    I think New York, Long Island and New Jersey will be just fine, these areas are extremely wealthy, residents there make great salaries, have excellent insurance so I am sure there won't be a problem getting back on their feet, New Orleans was a much different story and they definitely needed all the help they could get.

    January 2, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Steve R

    Probably their way of punishing Christi for his kind words for the President. These guys just walking away from this gives you a clear view of the kind of people that lead the GOP. The Party is dead until common sense and decency returns to the Republican Party.

    January 2, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    There's some dysfunction in the Republican leadership,"
    -------------------------------------------------
    Nooooo!?! 'Ya think?????????!
    It's ony discomfitting to you Rep. King because your Party's dysfunctional stance (which they've been holding firm to since January 2009) is biting YOU and your state in the tuckus.
    Our collective butts are quite raw, if you get my drift.
    Welcome to the mayhem you helped create.

    January 2, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. Robert Jay

    Well well! Now a Republican sees how his party looks to real Americans – "To hell with the average people only the rich count" Maybe "osme" Republicans might want to cange theirloyalties and look at their party realistically instaed of thru rose colred glasses! And then do something about it!

    January 2, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    "There's some dysfunction in the Republican leadership," he said in an interview on CNN. "For some reason, the speaker is taking it out on New York, Long Island, and New Jersey."
    --------------
    I think he forgot to mention the middle class, the 47%, and the 98%. Republicans are taking out their tax/budget frustrations on them, too.

    January 2, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  9. Larry in Houston

    only "some" dysfunction ?? lol – I guess the hypocrisy knows no bounds – lol – pitiful –
    from what the republican Peter King has been saying regarding the hurricane relief in N.J. & N.Y. – – To be perfectly honest, I find this appalling, to say the least – They've Turned Down funds for our own people in this country ??? wow !! We're talking about "disaster relief" for heavens sake . If this gets mentioned when the mid-terms rolls around, the republicans will be in trouble – KIng still has their "Values" – - but, he "disagrees" some of their "politics" ? >wow <
    lol -

    January 2, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. Hammerer

    The problem with the Repubs was pointed out very clearly by Tom Cole R OK when he made the statement on CNN that most of the new members had principals. They believed that if they believed in a cause they should be willing to die for it, but Cole said that they should be willing to put their principals aside and follow the crowd.
    The Repubs establishment has no principals! They only worry about votes to remain on the payroll. They should all be removed from office and replaced with people with some honor.

    January 2, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    myviewis

    I think New York, Long Island and New Jersey will be just fine, these areas are extremely wealthy, residents there make great salaries, have excellent insurance so I am sure there won't be a problem getting back on their feet, New Orleans was a much different story and they definitely needed all the help they could get.
    ------------------
    You are totally clueless. You speak whatever sounds good to you. Did you know that NYPD evidence storage facilites were destroyed? That means that hundreds of cases are in jeopardy of being thrown out for lack of evidence, convictions overturned because of a lack of evidence, that the NYPD is short-handed on people and facilities fighting the clock to salvage what evidence they can.

    There are people in the area who are still without heat and hot water. The decaying destruction is quickly turning into an ecological and health disaster in the most densely populated areas in the world. Ground water is being contaminated. Mold and decay are harboring diseases, both air and water borne.

    It takes a truly unique point of view to applaud the inaction by the House.

    January 2, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. PJ

    It's too bad Rep King had to finally learn what most of us have known for a very long time. His party, the Republicans,
    will stab anybody in the back, for any reason.
    King has gone along with them at every turn, and now his constituents are paying the price for his blindness to
    the reality that Republicans are wedded to Norquist and the Tea Party.
    This is beyond disgusting.

    January 2, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Randy, San Francisco

    Jon Huntsman only got it half way right about his GOP/Tea Party. The GOP/Tea Party has no soul and NO Heart. Rep King will have to approach Democrats across the aisle for help. He certainly won't find it in his own party. His own party rather find tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires on Wall Street.

    January 2, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. plain&simple

    Government has a role as Mr King is painfully aware...and leadership means having the vision and foresight and determination to provide assistance when and wherever needed. The federal government has been disparaged and demonized for to long by the narrow minded,isolationists that mostly come into the system to try and destroy it.....they call themselves tea party or freedom fighters but they are nothing more than fear mongers afraid to assist and invest in our countries future.

    January 2, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. Dan5404

    It is clear that neither Boehner nor Cantor consider the plight of all those poor people much less important than them taking a few days off to lick their wounds and rest after actually having to work for the first time in 4 years. I wonder hopw Critie feels about his partys support?

    January 2, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    Dominican mama 4 Obama "Welcome to the mayhem you helped create."

    Ah, yes. That very old (and very useful) "what goes around comes around" adage. Love it ... !

    January 2, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  17. jennifer in Houston

    If the republicans in Congress keep this up they'll be out of power for a generation.. sad? nah not really.

    January 2, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. zapper

    "The GOP House leadership, he said, "has turned its back on those people"

    That's what the GOP is all about: selfish cronyism and protecting the rich. The GOP has never given a damn about most of the American people.

    January 2, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  19. Greenspam

    Why does King suddenly love socialism so much?

    January 2, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  20. ST

    Someone who said that Republican's brains got frozen after the election, was quite right. Whatever they are doing nowadays is like a wounded buffalo. Boehner has to go. He is not there for the people and there is too much doubts of his way of thinking.

    January 2, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. Greenspam

    Did Sandy cause $60B in damage? If not, why do we need a $60B relief bill?

    January 2, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. TommytheT

    Has any one actually seen how the $60B was arrived at and what it is needed for? Hopefully before any one in this broke Govt decided to send money any where they have a real clear picture on what it is going to be spent on and a rock solid process to ensure it is spent the way it was intended to be. Not trying to be harsh, I actually live in NJ, but we are way past the point where we just throw money at a problem with no ownership or control.

    January 2, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. JD

    King is mad because it looks bad. We are in the age of optics, not actual. Money is still flowing for the recovery.

    If he can show me where things are not getting done because of money, I would be angry too. We have to help our fellow citizens. But. It seems more about replinishing funds than a current deficit causing work to not get done.

    January 2, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Susan

    "I would say the Republican Party has said it is the party of family values," he said. "Last night it turned its back on the most essential value of all, and that is to provide food, shelter clothing, and relief for people who have been hit by a natural disaster. And I would say that the Republican Party has turned its back on those people."

    Welcome to a dose of what the people of the State of Florida has to suffer through with Rick "Let Them Eat Cake" Scott.

    January 2, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Roger

    I didn't vote for Obama because he was all that good of a President. I voted for him because the present day Republican party is such a disaster.

    January 2, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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