Democrats said that despite Grimm’s defense of the three-week CR, he is still a loyal ally of his Conference. One aide noted that during debate over the long-term CR last month — which called for $61 billion in spending reductions — Grimm largely sat on the sidelines while his home-state colleague, Rep. Peter King (R), spoke out forcefully against the cuts to port and transit security.
“Everyone knows that the government needs to cut spending, but Rep. Michael Grimm and House Republicans voted to put New York families at risk by dangerously slashing funding for port security and transit security,” said Jesse Ferguson, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
King, however, said he has a partner in Grimm, who last month was the only other New York Republican to vote against a YouCut proposal to “retrieve” $178 million in funds paid to the United Nations.
“I consider him to be a very conservative guy, but he’s not going to march in lock step with anyone else — including me,” King said.
Grimm is one of six Republican freshmen from New York. The former FBI agent and Marine occupies the Staten Island-based seat once held by former Rep. Vito Fossella, a Republican who frequently found himself balancing a conservative constituency with the broader interests of New York City.
While Grimm was touted as an attractive candidate because of his military background, even national Republican operatives weren’t sure he could win the seat. Now Grimm is one of 12 regional chairmen for the National Republican Congressional Committee and will spend the 2012 cycle helping other GOP candidates throughout the Northeast.
“I think Michael knows himself, knows his strike zone and is going to be a great leader for us,” NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) said. “He is a thoughtful guy who plays offense, and I play offense so I like that.”