Rep. King: ‘Very Uncomfortable’ with Sandy Aid Opposition in Party

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Rep. Peter King speaks to the media after a meeting regarding the Sandy aid bill with Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner on Capitol Hill.

House Republicans from districts struck by super-storm Sandy last fall are still seething at Republican colleagues who opposed an aid package.

“It’s going to make it very uncomfortable going back to Congress, working with some of these people,” Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican who represents part of Long Island, said today on WOR Radio in New York.

House Republicans who attacked and delayed the aid package made “stupid arguments” and were “treating us like some third-world beggar nation,” King said.

Most Republicans demanded spending cuts to pay for some of the aid package, which included a $9.7 billion flood insurance measure that passed Jan. 4 and a $50.5 billion relief and reconstruction measure that passed Jan. 15. About four in five House Republicans voted against the second bill after an attempt to include offsetting spending cuts was rejected.

King and Rep. Frank LoBiondo, a New Jersey Republican, noted that some Republicans who opposed Sandy aid previously sought federal money after disasters struck their districts.

“I think these so-called colleagues of ours have made a very, very bad mistake with how they handled this,” LoBiondo said on WOR.

Some members of Congress from disaster-prone areas reneged on a promise to support Sandy aid, LoBiondo said.

“They didn’t even have the courtesy or the guts to tell us that they changed their minds,” he said. “These are the same people who were demanding for their constituents something that they would not give our constituents, people who were really hurting.”

Mick Mulvaney, the South Carolina Republican who led the unsuccessful campaign to finance some disaster relief by cutting spending elsewhere, said in a statement Jan. 15 that his effort was “was not about denying assistance to anyone in need.”

“I hope that we will use this experience to be even better stewards of taxpayer dollars going forward,” he said.

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