When House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, pulled his support of a massive Sandy aid bill, Republicans reacted: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called the move “disgraceful” and accused the House of “using citizens like a pawn.” Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y. called the move a “betrayal,” and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., called it a “cruel knife in the back,” and said that his party could no longer count on him for party-line votes.
Buckling to these bipartisan and furious statements, Boehner announced Wednesday afternoon that the House would vote on $9 billion on Friday to fund FEMA’s flood insurance program (that would otherwise go broke before the end of next week) and the remaining billions would be dealt with on January 15, in the first full day of the new Congress.
Rep. King, speaking on Thursday’s Morning Joe, explained that this was an impromptu “shock therapy” treatment that he and others gave to his party.
“We needed a form of shock treatment,” King said. “This is so vital, my district has been devastated. This was literally life and death and that’s why I took to the House floor and said what I did.”
Gov. Christie slammed the Speaker for putting internal politics over disaster-ravaged states in his furious presser Wednesday, accusing the House leadership of “callous indifference.”
King explained that it had been party politics that delayed the bill.
“All the controversy over the fiscal cliff legislation, John felt giving $60 billion to New York and New Jersey would cause a split within the party,” King said. “But he didn’t tell us that. Even off the floor Tuesday, we had to find out from an aide.”
King said that he and other legislators met with the speaker and House Majority leader Eric Cantor yesterday about the decision, saying the meeting went “very well. I knew it was going to be a good meeting when we walked in and John made an obscene reference to me and did it with a smile,” he said, adding, “that’s usually a good sign with John.”