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GOP Rep. Says Boehner ‘Put A Knife In The Back Of New Yorkers’ By Blocking Vote On Sandy Relief

By Josh Israel  

"GOP Rep. Says Boehner ‘Put A Knife In The Back Of New Yorkers’ By Blocking Vote On Sandy Relief"

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Rep. Peter King (R-NY)

Rep. Peter King (R-NY)

A furious Rep. Peter King (R-NY) took aim at his own party in a Fox News interview Wednesday, a day after House GOP leaders broke their promise to hold a vote on a Hurricane Sandy relief bill. King said the decision by the House Republican leadership to scrap a planned vote on a multi- billion aid package amounted to a “knife in the back” of those hit hardest by the bill. The Senate had approved a $60.4 billion aid bill last Friday, but the House move appeared to scuttle any chance of a bill before the new Congress begins Thursday.

King said that after the move, he feels no obligation to vote with his leadership and suggested that East Coast residents who contribute to the GOP are insane. King complained that Speaker John Boehner reneged on his promise to hold a vote on the package, without explanation:

In his explanation of the events of Tuesday night, he noted that Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) offered no explanation for the broken promise:

KING: No one even told us, the Speaker walked off the floor, told an aide to the Majority Leader that the Congress was finished. There were no votes and they come back and told us. Listen, I’m not taking this as personal offense. I’m talking about the thousands of people in my district, hundreds of thousands of people throughout the New York-New Jersey area. Within 10 days after Katrina, $60 billion was appropriated. Nine weeks after Sandy, not one penny has been appropriated. And let me just make this one point. These Republicans have no problem finding New York when they’re out raising millions of dollars. They’re in New York all the time filling pockets with money from New Yorkers. I’m saying anyone from New York and New Jersey who contributes one penny to Congressional Republicans is out of their mind. Because what they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans, it was an absolute disgrace.

Why the Republican party has bias against New York, this bias against New Jersey, this bias against the Northeast. They wonder why they’re becoming minority party. Why we’ll be party of the permanent minority. What they did last night was so immoral, so disgraceful, so irresponsible. They’re supposed to be the party of family values. And you have families that are starving, families that are suffering, families that are spread all over living in substandard housing. This was a disgrace. They are inexcusable. And they have had it. As far as I’m concerned I’m on my own. They’re going to have to go a long way to get my vote on anything.

Watch the interview:

King noted that while national Republicans were all-too-happy to put Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) out as a surrogate during the 2012 campaign, with this move they “knifed him in the back.”

In a separate interview on CNN, he added that Boehner refused to meet with him and yelled at Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), “I’m not going to meet with you people.”

A fellow New York Republican, Rep. Michael Grimm, echoed King’s remarks, calling the leadership’s move a “personal betrayal,” and noting that “the people of this country that have been devastated are looking at this as a betrayal by the Congress and by the nation, and that is just untenable and unforgivable.”

Update

In a joint statement, Christie and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) blasted the “dereliction of duty” by the House Republican leadership, writing “inaction and indifference by the House of Representatives is inexcusable. When American citizens are in need we come to their aid. That tradition was abandoned in the House last night.” In a his own statement, President Barack Obama urged Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) to “bring this important request to a vote today, and pass it without delay for our fellow Americans.”


Update

After King repeated his criticism of the GOP leadership in a House floor speech, a Boehner spokesman told Politico that the Speaker will meet with Republican Republican members of the New York and New Jersey delegations on Wednesday afternoon and that “the Speaker is committed to getting this bill passed this month.”

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