Republican House member, Peter King, is livid over John Boehner's refusal to allow the House to vote on the Hurricane Sandy Aid bill, calling the Republican leadership "dysfunctional".
As reported by Digital Journal earlier on Wednesday, Boehner adjourned the House without allowing a vote on the Superstorm Sandy Aid legislation. Many in Boehner's own party were vocal about the Speaker's decision to not allow the measure to come up for a vote on Tuesday. On Wednesday, several Democrats and Republicans implored Boehner to "do the right thing" and allow House members to vote on the legislation before adjourning. Those pleas fell on deaf ears however and the Speaker refused to yield to bipartisan pressure and adjourned the House without a vote. New York Rep. Peter King was one of the most vocal, calling Boehner's actions "immoral".
Shortly after the House adjourned for the day, King spoke to CNN and said the GOP House leadership "has turned its back on those people".
King stated that House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, had promised the legislation would be voted on before the new Congress was sworn in on Thursday. If the legislation is not voted on by then, it has to be re-proposed and pass the House and Senate., further delaying much needed assistance.
King placed the blame for his anger, and the fact the bill was not brought up for a vote, squarely on the shoulders of Boehner, saying Boehner walked off the House floor and refused to give members a reason why. He stated that he had "chased" Boehner all over the House floor Tuesday trying to talk with him. According to King, Boehner promised everything would be taken care of after the fiscal cliff vote was over, but that he refused to meet with King or other fellow Republicans. King told the Huffington Post:
"He actually yelled at Congressman [Frank] LoBiondo, saying, 'I'm not meeting with you people.'"
King was so incensed by the Speakers actions, or lack of action, that he told Fox News people should not contribute to Republican House members.
"I'm saying anyone from New York and New Jersey who contributes one penny to congressional Republicans is out of their minds. What they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans."
During his interview with CNN, King became visibly emotional. When asked if he would leave the Republican Party, he replied:
"I am going to do what I have to do. I'm going to be independent minded. John Kennedy said party loyalty demands too much. All of us are supposed to give the benefit of the doubt to our party, but I'm over that."
King went so far as to insinuate that Republicans may become the minority in the House after the mid term elections, saying Republicans wonder why they are becoming the minority party and that this latest action may make them the permanent minority.
According to a New York Times report, he blasted the Republican Party's claim of being the party of family values, saying:
"You have families that are starving, families that are suffering, families that are spread all over living in substandard housing. This was a disgrace. They are inexcusable."
Washington insiders are debating whether King's response to CNN about leaving the party was purely out of anger or if he is seriously considering becoming an Independent or switching to the Democratic Party. Some point the fact that King worked closely with House Democrats to try and force Boehner to allow a vote on the Sandy aid package. Others point to King's assertion that the current Republican party is not displaying Republican values, as well as to an earlier statement of his when he said:
"My own party refuses to help them...why try to help the Republican Party."