Rep. Peter King's Emotional Response to GOP Tabling Vote on Sandy Relief Bill: 'Republicans Will Have to Go a Long Way to Get My Vote on Anything Again'
New York and New Jersey lawmakers are reeling this morning after taking a heavy blow last night when a Hurricane Sandy relief bill they'd expected to be voted on was tabled without explanation. The bill called for a much-needed $60 billion in aid to be provided to the ravaged Northeast to help in the massive relief efforts still under way following the superstorm.
On the House floor on Tuesday, an outraged Rep. Peter King spoke out about his shock and utter disappointment. "Everybody play by the rules ... except for tonight, when the rug is pulled out from under us," he said. "It's absolutely inexcusable, absolutely indefensible; we have a moral
obligation to hold this vote."
Another New York congressman, Rep. Michael Grimm, expressed a similar sentiment. "Their New Year's gift is that I get to go home and tell them that they get to wait even longer ... even longer for something they should have had over a month ago?"
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Rep. King appeared on Fox News' America's Newsroom on Wednesday morning, his anger still palpable as he gave more insight and reaction on last night's lack of a vote. King told co-anchor Arthel Neville that the NY delegation -- including NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- have been meeting with House leaders since the storm and had been told this vote was coming up, and that every document they asked for had been supplied and that a vote was 99 percent certain.
Then last night, as the delegation waited for what they believed would be a vote on the bill, the House Speaker walked off the floor and told an aide to the majority leader that Congress was finished and no more votes would take place.
"I'm not taking this as a personal offense; I'm talking about the thousands of people in my district, the hundreds of thousands of people throughout the New York and New Jersey area," King said. "Within ten days after [Hurricane] Katrina, $60 billion was appropriated. Nine weeks after Sandy, not one penny has been appropriated."
King's emotion was raw as he blasted the GOP for their failure to act in providing for those suffering from the after-effects of the superstorm.
"These Republicans have no problem finding New York when they're out raising millions of dollars. 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," he said. "What they did last night is put a knife in the backs of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans. It's an absolute disgrace."
As for any hope that an alternate bill could be put on the books quickly, King said it's unlikely that any such legislation will be taken up before February ... even a bill calling for preliminary aid, less than the requested $60 billion.
King also said Cuomo, Christie and Bloomberg were all outraged by last night's omission.
"All we're saying is treat us the same as everybody else has been treated [...] and why the Republican party has this bias against New York, this bias against New Jersey, this bias against the Northeast ... they're wondering why they're becoming the minority party, why they're going to be the party of the permanent minority? What they did last night was immoral, so disgraceful, so irresponsible. They're supposed to be the party of family values, and there are families who are starving, families who are spread all over ... living in substandard housing," he railed.
"I've had it. As far as I'm concerned, I'm on my own. They're going to have to go a long way to get my vote on anything," he told Neville, adding that Gov. Christie was especially blindsided, seeing as though he had been elevated by Republicans over the last election year as their 'go-to' man for campaigning.
"Gov Christie ... he's the one who Republicans put out front. 'He's our man, he's our blue-collar candidate, he's the guy who represents the heart and soul of the Republican party.' He went everywhere for Republicans all over the country and what do they do? They knifed him in the back," King blasted.