Republican Congressman Says GOP To Blame For Shutdown


Rep. Peter King (R-NY)

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said on Fox News Sunday that — contrary to claims by some colleagues — “we are the ones who did shut the government down.” But while he reiterated his opposition to the strategy, he also said he would not act to require a vote to reopen the federal government.

King blamed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for a “strategy doomed to failure.” Contrary to Cruz’s claims that Republicans could both keep government open and effectively nullify the Affordable Care Act, King noted, “the government is now closed and Obamacare is going forward.”

But King told host Chris Wallace that he would not join Democrats to bring up a clean continuing resolution on the House floor for a vote:

WALLACE: Sir, if you could answer my direct question, why won’t you sign a discharge petition?

KING: It’s not going to go anywhere and the Democrats are not bargaining in good faith. There is no way in the world you will get 25 Republicans to go on that and having said that, I wouldn’t go on it because they are, as I said, not bargaining in good faith here, right now. I’m am committed to make this work. That’s why I have been against this government shutdown from the start. Where I disagree with [fellow Republican] Tom [Graves of Georgia] is we are the ones who did shut the government down. Charles Krauthammer called it the “suicide caucus,” and the Wall Street Journal said we’re “Kamikazes.”

Though King and at least 19 fellow Republicans have said they would vote for a clean bill to reopen the government immediately, none have voted with House Democrats on repeated attempts to hold a vote on doing so. A discharge petition, a little-used parliamentary maneuver used by a majority in the U.S. House to bring a bill to the floor without the Speaker’s consent, would require 217 signatures.