The Hill’s player of the week: Rep. Pete KingStaff
January 15, 2013
The House this week is considering a Hurricane Sandy relief bill, and Rep. Pete King (R-NY) will be a major participant in the debate.
King was so enraged when Speaker John Boehner pulled a Sandy relief measure from the floor earlier this month that he indicated he might not vote for the Ohio Republican for Speaker. He was mollified and voted for Boehner on Jan. 3 only after receiving promises about relief legislation.
But on Monday, King expressed frustration again, this time with the slew of amendments filed by members seeking to change the $50 billion bill.
“We were told the bill was coming up as is,” King said. Dozens of amendments have been submitted, some of which could kill the underlying bill, he says.
The former Homeland Security Committee chairman said he anticipated that the Rules Committee would approve about 15 amendments for floor consideration.
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), ranking member of the Rules Committee, echoed King in a statement: “instead of simply considering a clean measure, the majority has submitted over 45 amendments to the Rules Committee to cut, hinder or offset the aid found in this package.”
Boehner has stressed the need for the House to return to “regular order,” where committees and subcommittees craft and revise legislation.
Many conservatives are expected to support efforts to offset the bill, but Democrats will largely reject them.
King will need to corral enough GOP votes to thwart the amendments.
“This isn’t what we expected,” King said.
Getting Boehner to reverse course on Sandy wasn’t easy, but the media-savvy King knew how to push the Speaker’s buttons.
King, who has a good working relationship with Boehner, went on avariety of cable networks to criticize him. After Boehner changed his mind, King stopped his attacks.
To get the Sandy relief bill to President Obama’s desk, King might once again need to take on his own party.