Thursday, January 3, 2013

Governor Christie and Rep. King: Not Happy Campers

(with a hat tip to Little Green Footballs)

As if Speaker of the House John Boehner's humiliation wasn't enough following the fiscal cliff mess, today he was given quite an ass-kicking by New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Christie has no trouble expressing his sense of frustration. Boehner, Christie told reporters, had promised to bring to the House floor a vote on disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy which ravaged his state late last year. 

Instead, he simply refused to take Christie's calls and adjourned the House. This, after what some staunch conservatives saw as a cave-in on the Bush tax cuts. Governor Christie said, 
"There is no reason for me, at the moment, to believe anything (the Republican leadership in the House) tell me.. because they've been telling me stuff for weeks and they didn't deliver."
And in case you didn't get his point, he also added. 
"There is only one group to blame.The House Majority and John Boehner."

Christie, by the way, wasn't the only Republican who expressed a sense of betrayal from their own party. Here's New York Representative Peter King: 

King told Fox News, 
“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. Because what they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans. It was an absolute disgrace.
Admittedly, Boehner was in a sticky position (mostly because of his own incompetence). After all, he was hardly in a position to condemn the president about out of control government spending in one breath and then call for a vote for a 60-billion-dollar relief package in the next. 

Especially after House Oversight and Government Reform Chair and California Representative Darrell Issa went on Fox and Friends and called the Senate bill to aid the victims of Sandy "a bunch of pork." 
(Issa has had a lousy reputation with New Yorkers since 2001, when  Issa questioned federal expenditures made after 9/11. He claimed then that the federal government was throwing "buckets of cash at New York." Additionally, he asked "why the firefighters who went there and everybody in the city of New York needs to come to the federal government for the dollars versus this being primarily a state consideration." 

As the UK Guardian points out, Boehner's position was made all the more difficult by fellow Republican Eric Cantor.
In closed-door meetings of the House Republican conference, he expressed his opposition to the Senate bill before Boehner had taken a stand. He expressed the sense of most Republicans that it raised taxes without getting any meaningful spending cuts in return, that it added to the deficit, and that it created the precedent that any cuts must be paired with tax hikes.
Given this kind of back-stabbing, there was no way Boehner could have kept his promise to Christie without having a full-scale Tea Party revolt on his hands. 

All in all, it would seem that John Boehner's days as leader of the majority in the House are limited. 
Think Eric Cantor isn't plotting to become the next House Speaker?