January 2nd, 2013
04:29 PM ET
1 year ago

Republicans pledge to back Boehner, reversing earlier outrage

Washington (CNN) - Certain Republican lawmakers said Wednesday they'll now vote for John Boehner's re-election as House Speaker, despite earlier offering uncertainty over whether they'd cast their vote for the top Republican.

Rep. Michael Grimm, the freshman Republican who represents Staten Island, said he would "absolutely" vote for Boehner, hours after saying he would likely abstain when the House votes for the position on Thursday.

The change in tune came Wednesday afternoon when Republican Rep. Peter King of New York announced that Boehner said the House would vote Friday on part of the federal aid package for victims of Superstorm Sandy, which wreaked havoc across much of the Northeast more than 60 days ago.

House members will vote on $9 billion in aid on Friday and then on the remaining $51 billion on January 15. Both votes take place in the next Congress, which begins Thursday.

King and other lawmakers were furious with Boehner after the speaker decided not to allow a vote late Tuesday night on the legislation.

Asked earlier in the day if he would cast his vote for the speaker's re-election on Thursday, King dodged the answer. In his announcement later, however, the New York congressman confirmed he would back Boehner.

"Obviously we disagreed with (Boehner's decision), but that's in the past," King told reporters, showing a stunning turnaround in tone regarding his party's leader.

King was surrounded by fellow Republicans from New York and New Jersey who all pledged to vote for Boehner Thursday. Grimm was among those who promised to support the current speaker.

"I want to be clear about something: I will vote for Speaker Boehner," he said, adding that he never "questioned where (Boehner's) heart was."

"There's no question the speaker always wanted to help the people of New York and New Jersey," he continued. "I don't agree with his call to delay the vote. I don't. I don't support it at all. I think it was the wrong call but it was his call to make... It was because of the timing issue and he didn't think it was right for his conference to take that vote at that time."

Even after the bruising battle over the fiscal cliff, most Republicans, including those who opposed the final deal, expected Boehner to retain his position as speaker when the next Congress convenes Thursday.

Seeking to quell the outrage, a senior aide to Republican House leadership told reporters earlier Wednesday that Boehner would make the aid bill his "first priority in the new Congress."

But that didn't stop lawmakers from expressing their fury.

Calling it a "betrayal" and an "error in judgment," Grimm said earlier on the House floor that the refusal to vote on the bill this session would spur distrust among the American public.

"To delay this vote even for another day is something that will resonate not only with the people that have been affected and are suffering and have lost everything, but I think it will resonate with the American people for a long time," Grimm said. "I think it will make them wonder what we are here for?"

A source close to Grimm noted he is close to Boehner, but with Grimm's laser focus on urging Congress to approve the assistance package, he couldn't go back to his district and justify supporting Boehner Thursday.

Later Grimm told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that if the speaker's decision Tuesday night was based on opposition against the bill in general, then he couldn't support Boehner.

"But that wasn't really the case. I just needed to hear that from the speaker," he said, adding that Boehner told him he just didn't feel like Tuesday night–amid intraparty party frustration over the fiscal cliff deal–was the right time to vote on a bill that involved more spending.

King also publicly lambasted Boehner Wednesday morning for failing to bring up the measure before the current Congress ends.

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

On CNN's "The Situation Room," King later said that he doesn't regret his blistering comments but added now "that's behind us."

"The speaker made an absolute commitment today," he said. "We got the result that we wanted, and I give the speaker and the majority leader credit for that. Now it's time to move forward."

The Garden State's governor, Republican Chris Christie, offered searing criticism in a press conference Wednesday afternoon, saying he tried to reach the speaker four times Tuesday night but his calls were not returned.

"Absolutely disgraceful," he said, adding that "there's no reason" to believe anything he's told by House leadership.

"Unlike people in Congress, we have actual responsibilities," Christie said.


Filed under: House • John Boehner • Peter King
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Boehner has been a disgrace of a Speaker. Christie hit the nail on the head. He makes Newt look like a success. Nancy Pelosi was by far a way better Speaker.

    January 2, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. Woman In California

    Certain Republican lawmakers said Wednesday they'll now vote for John Boehner's re-election as House Speaker

    The party of no principles, no patriotism and no plans has no one intelligent enough to run, so they might as well keep the town drunk.

    January 2, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. Blinded by the republican lie

    What hypocrisy...vote on the whole pckage and be done...those believing they will vote on it again on the 15th are surely mistaken...The 9 bil is all they intent to give mark my words.

    January 2, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. MeapersoninUS

    So much of what the repuks in Congress do is total DISGRACE and a slap in the face of every America who makes under $250k a year.

    January 2, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  5. yogi

    The party of the followers, the republiparrots.

    January 2, 2013 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. Tucsoner

    Anyone else here think that Boehner used the relief bill as leverage to get more votes for himself as speaker?

    January 2, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. nothing new here

    This was a bad, bad decision on the part of the GOP leadership.
    It is amazing to see damage control initiates so quickly. It is like locking the barn door after the horse has bolted.

    January 2, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. Boehner needs to resign

    Only took 60 days this time...the GOP is improving kicking the can down the road.

    WAY TO GO GOP!!!

    Too bad we can't fire EVERYONE for incompetence

    January 2, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  9. The Elephant In The Room

    The re-selection of John Boehner as Speaker of the House of Represenatives is proof that Republican claims of being for successful people, a meritocracy, etc. is all bunk.

    This Congress (led by Boehner) has been one of the least productive ever. These guys hardly ever work. When they do, its on some idealogically narrow anti-abortion / anti-contraception related matter that we did not elect them to focus on. Finally, on the tough topics, Boehner has proven he is unable to work with a President that has repeatedly bent over backwards to compromise nor can Boehner LEAD his REPUBLICAN House caucus to get behind anything that he believes in. John Boehner is incompetent. He is also im – -tent as a leader. That's right, I said it.

    January 2, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. Patriot Awesome

    I want the Republicans from the 1980s back. These guys are a disgrace.

    January 2, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. RobertOKUSA

    Gotta love it when Republicans complain they aren't receiving *their* socialist handout.

    January 2, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. strangerq

    Can't wait for 2014.

    Vote all GOP out of the house. This will force them to return to a center/right party, and not the extreme right wing whack job party which is what they've become.

    January 2, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. Kr55

    They just don't want that lunatic Cantor to get a higher position of leadership. Fortunate for us they at least have that much sense.

    January 2, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. Gary

    So let's make sure we remember this America. Boehner doesn't do his job and is vilified. Then he shows up and does part of his job, and is a hero worthy of a vote to keep his job.

    Only in American politics can an about face like this happen so quickly.

    January 2, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  15. strangerq

    Anyone else here think that Boehner used the relief bill as leverage to get more votes for himself as speaker?

    ^ That, plus the Tea partiers didn't want to vote for it anyway. They don't like it when the government actually helps people.

    Contradicts their propaganda theme.

    January 2, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald dump ??????

    The house will be in dem hands after the midterms we are all coming out for this vote and even gop vote rigging won't save the gop communist party and they won't see the inside of the white house for 50 years if ever except to kiss the dems ass !!!!!

    January 2, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. kdinca

    Harry Reid deserved it. He is a follower and a milk toast loser. Anyone that gets bypassed in a key deal in favor of Joe Biden is the country's biggest loser. Resign now and save face Reid.

    January 2, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  18. Ancient Texan

    strangerq- If the economy doesn't improve drastically before 2014, the Dims will lose more seats in the House and lose the Senate. Then Obama's agenda will be history. The folks are fed up with this nonsense and will not allow the uncontrolled spending continue.

    January 2, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. lolrepublicans

    Yet another facepalm moment for the GOP. Starting the new year same as the last, I see!

    January 2, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. Pedesq

    I'm sure King and Boehner will make a $60 billion cut to Medicaid/Medicare/Social Security part of the bill so as not to increase the deficit.

    January 2, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. Pete

    I love it anger ,dissension among republican ranks just what I've been waiting for a political implosion of sorts and nothing helps Democrates than stressed out confused republicans to make an argument that I've said all alone that republicans can't or shouldn't handle economic resonsibilities for anything..They've run us off many a cliff before with Hoovers Great Depression,Reagans using monies sladed for middleclass,poor to expand defense mainly the Star Wars program that blew itself apart,both Bushs couldn't balance a check book and were taunted as brilliant businessmen and look what they gave us so for Gods sake please don't give the keys back to the same bunch of idiots that crashed our economy before..Just remember what Einstein said that an action creates an opposite reaction and republicans actions have always been economic catastrophes haven't they,its historic fact just read up voters because its pathedic and they're still in business which also goes to shows how ignorent their partys voters are right!!

    January 2, 2013 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. twalk

    Repubturd are nothing but hypocrites. They just show it over and over. They don't stand behind the majority of american people only the top percent. GOP out in 2014, so don't forget their unpatriot track record.

    January 2, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  23. pat

    The GOP and Boehner should be ashamed for delaying aid to Sandy victims. They sure lined up to rebuild Iraq when Dick Cheneys old company was collecting the money.

    January 2, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. twalk

    @Ancient Texan
    The repubturd need to stop spending then. GOP (Greedy Old Party) spend as much if not more than other parties The repubturds voters follow their every word like a dog on a leash. My dogs are smarter.

    January 2, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  25. Facts don't Lie

    Hopefully come 2014 it won't matter much anyway...vote ALL these morons out and let them take their teabags with them and join Allen West and Joe Walsh on the playground.

    January 2, 2013 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
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