Furious over the failure of House Republicans on Wednesday to vote on a $60 billion federal aid package for Hurricane Sandy victims, Long Island Republican Congressman Peter King lashed out at his party’s inaction, a move which contributed to House Speaker John Boehner pledging to take up part of the bill on Friday.
“These Republicans have no problem finding New York when they’re out raising millions of dollars,” King told Fox News.
“They’re in New York all the time filling their pockets with money from New Yorkers. I’m saying right now, anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to Congressional Republicans is out of their minds. Because what they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans. It was an absolute disgrace.”
King, a long-time activist on Irish issues and a former grand marshal of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, singled out Boehner for particular criticism. King also said that he would refuse to join with the Republican Party on other votes in the future.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m on my own,” King said. “They’re going to have to go a long way to get my vote on anything.”
King wasn’t the only Republican to blast Boehner’s decision to cast the Sandy aid package aside. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called the move “outrageous” and “unprecedented,” and Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm said, “I feel like I was misled. Personally, I feel betrayed.”
The outpouring of criticism promoted Boehner to do a quick turnaround on the Sandy package, promising an initial vote on $9 billion in aid on Friday, with the remainder of the bill set for a vote on January 15, the first day that the new Congress is in session.
Boehner’s about-face satisfied King, who spent much of Wednesday on the various networks blasting the House speaker. By the evening, he had changed his tone.
“This procedure that is laid out is fully acceptable,” he said. “Fact is, we are getting what New York and New Jersey needs, and that is what counts.”