Rep. King tapped to head GOP's national security groupBy TOM BRUNE
April 30, 2010
WASHINGTON - After a year of blasting the Obama administration on his own for its handling of terrorism suspects, White House security and Guantánamo Bay, Rep. Peter King Thursday became the House GOP's official voice, and critic, on national security.
House GOP Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday that King (R-Seaford) will chair a new 18-member National Security Solutions Group to "hold the Obama administration accountable" for "misguided policies" and to offer Republican alternatives.
King stepping up into a new party role as the GOP looks to the fall elections, but he'll also face restraints on his responses to President Barack Obama's actions and security policies.
Saying the new job was Boehner's idea, King said, "With the election coming up, there are a lot of issues, including emotional issues like the 9/11 trials, Guantánamo, obviously Israel, he thought it was important that we speak with one voice."
King said he'll work with Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who's devising the GOP agenda. Republicans back Obama on Iraq and Afghanistan but differ on other policies.
"We will be able to make responses" to events, King said. "But as we get closer to the campaign you're going to see more position papers."
Democrats formed a similar group when they were in the minority, said Brendan Daly, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Daly said the new GOP group would be watched to see if it sought to promote policies or to score political points.