Fun fact: By some estimates, roughly half of the $60 billion aid bill that passed the Senate consists of expenditures unrelated to Sandy relief, i.e. pork. Had the House GOP amended the fiscal cliff bill last night to include $300 billion in spending cuts over 10 years, the amount of pork alone in the Sandy bill would have wiped out this year’s cuts in one fell swoop. That’s how meaningless the fiscal cliff negotiations were.
Rest assured, a relief bill will pass soon — maybe tomorrow, now that the screeching among tri-state congressmen has earned them an audience with Boehner this afternoon. King knows that, as does Chris Christie, who’s called a presser for later today. What’s going to change on the ground in New York and New Jersey between now and the next few days, when the bill is safely on Obama’s desk for signing? Not a thing, but it’s a fine opportunity for grandstanding by blue-state Republicans eager to seize an opportunity to distance themselves from the party’s brand while it’s at low tide. In fairness to them, the politics of the bill being pulled last night are awfully tawdry and self-destructive. But even so, I’m curious: How much unrelated spending would this bill need to be larded up with before fiscal warrior Chris Christie decided it needed a few more days of deliberation and amendment? King goes so far here as to urge New Yorkers not to donate to the NRCC because of the delay. Either he’s deathly afraid of losing his seat to an anti-GOP backlash or he’s hysterical. Actually, check that: Whatever his other motives, he’s hysterical.
“I’m saying anyone from New York and New Jersey who contributes one penny to congressional Republicans is out of their minds,” Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told Fox News. “What they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans.”…
Meanwhile, King called the decision a “disgrace” and “immoral” — and accused fellow Republicans of turning away from Christie. “What did they do? They knifed him in the back,” he said.
They “knifed him in the back” by not passing a bill that’s … going to pass overwhelmingly within a week? See BuzzFeed for more as NY/NJ pols try to one-up each other on who can affect the most outrageously outrageous outrage for the benefit of their constituents. No one’s compared the bill being pulled to terrorism yet, but give them some time. It’s early.
Update: C’mon, Chris. Say the T-word. You know you want to.
“There is only one group to blame,” Christie said. “The House Majority and John Boehner.”
“Last night, the House Majority failed most basic test of leadership and they did so with callous disregard to the people of my state.”
“It was disappointing and disgusting to watch.”
Update: Now Christie’s whining that he tried to call Boehner last night and couldn’t get him on the phone. Over to you, Dan Foster:
What the hell was John Boehner doing last night that he couldn’t take a call from someone whose vote doesn’t matter?
— Daniel Foster (@DanFosterNRO) January 2, 2013
Update: Excellent point. Shouldn’t be forgotten when the Christie 2016 bandwagon starts rolling:
Note that Christie isn’t even knocking Obama for a lack of leadership — the prez is on vacation.
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) January 2, 2013