January 3, 2013

“They’re going to have a hard time getting my vote,” Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) said of House GOP leadership yesterday.

Well, maybe not that hard.

The Long Islander this morning pronounced himself placated with House Speaker John Boehner’s offer to have the Hurricane Sandy relief bill passed in two pieces over the next two weeks. Boehner’s decision not to take up the bill in the 112th Congress, which ends today, led King to call on people in New York and New Jersey to cease contributions to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

“John agreed to put everything that we wanted on the calendar. It will be voted on,” King told NBC’s Matt Lauer this morning. “The money will be there. So John Boehner is a friend, and I give him credit.”

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As for him criticizing his fellow Republicans’ “indifference,” “disregard” and “cavalier attitude,” the lawmaker said, “I stand by what I said at the time.” But he’s revising and extending his remarks. “John is really a voice of reason in our conference, despite some of the things I said yesterday,” King told Lauer.

Of course, the offer to have the Sandy spending bill done by Jan. 15 will likely get Boehner in trouble with the Tea Party members of the 113th Congress, but that’s less of a concern: His reelection as speaker is today.

Separately, a quote I attributed in my latest column to Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), that nature had “pulled the rug out” from under the Sandy victims, was uttered by the person who spoke just after Smith, minority leader Nancy Pelosi. It was the rare day in Congress when Smith and Pelosi were on the same side of an issue.

Dana Milbank writes about political theater in the nation’s capital. He joined the Post as a political reporter in 2000.