King Tells Members to Withhold Money From NRCC Over Sandy Aid
Republican Rep. Peter T. King, who represents Long Island, N.Y., is furious with Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, for not taking up a Hurricane Sandy relief bill before the 112th Congress ends, and his political retaliation includes asking New York and New Jersey Republicans to withhold political donations to Congressional Republicans.
“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,” King said in a Fox News interview.
He made similar statements on other news outlets. In that TV appearance, he echoed statements he made on the House floor, which included complaints about politicians who fundraise in New York City but who are not aiding the Empire State with relief.
The National Republican Congressional Committee declined to comment on King’s threat. A GOP aide noted that the NRCC’s job is to keep the GOP in the majority so that King “can be in a best position possible to advocate for his constituents.”
Boehner is scheduled to meet with Republican members of the New York and New Jersey delegations Wednesday afternoon.
In his comments on the House floor Wednesday morning, King called himself a “personal friend of John Boehner” and then proceeded to eviscerate the GOP leader. He went on to note that GOP members treat the Northeast poorly compared with their own districts. Republicans’ numbers are dwindling in the region, and there won’t be a single House Republican from New England in the new Congress.
Elsewhere, the statements issued from Tri-State officeholders Wednesday morning continued to pressure House leaders to pass the bill in the waning hours of 112th Congress. The supplemental spending bill was passed by the Senate already, and if the House fails to pass the measure, it will have to start from scratch in the 113th Congress.
The bipartisan ire was expressed in every medium available: television appearances, statements and on Twitter.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Democratic New Jersey Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg and Robert Menendez issued angry statements. New Jersey’s Republican Gov. Chris Christie called the lack of action a “dereliction of duty” on Twitter. He and Democratic New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo issued a joint statement that was less harsh in tone than other comments but was noteworthy in its bipartisanship. President Barack Obama issued a mild-in-comparison statement urging Republicans to move on the legislation.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., defended leadership’s actions on “Fox and Friends,” blaming Gillibrand and Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., for loading up the legislation with “pork.”
Niels Lesniewski and Kerry Young contributed to this report.