Rep. Peter King: 9/11 Responders Aid Bill "Is Not Supported By The Republican Party"

August 05, 2010 12:24 pm ET — Alan Pyke

This morning on MSNBC, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) tried to push the Republican narrative about why a bill to provide health care to 9/11 responders failed in the House. King blamed Democrats for putting the bill on the suspension calendar (requiring a 2/3 majority vote for passage) as a way of intentionally killing the bill.

"They're afraid that Republicans will make a motion or offer an amendment which will say that illegal immigrants cannot take part in this plan," King said, "and the Hispanic Caucus...would bolt if that happened... But the fact is, cops and firefighters are dying and it's on their hands."

But earlier in the interview, King slipped up and told the truth:

REP. KING: I have said throughout this, going back to five years ago, we would be lucky to get 24, 25 Republican votes. This is not supported by the Republican Party. I have broken with the party on this. The same as I did when I opposed Bill Clinton's impeachment. The same as I did when I opposed George Bush on Dubai ports.


This completely undercuts the Republican argument that Democrats are denying aid to dying firefighters. Just as King and his GOP colleagues said on the floor prior to Rep. Anthony Weiner's (D-NY) outburst, the Republican party is quite simply opposed to this bill.

Rep. King could only get 11 of his colleagues to vote for the bill.  And he's defending their plans to offer frivolous amendments designed to embarrass Democrats in an election year. Yet somehow it's Democrats who are cynical, not the conservatives who oppose the bill and would exploit 9/11 responders for attack ads in November.

King's right about one thing. House GOPers were very clear in their view that 9/11 responders don't deserve an "entitlement."