Editor's Note: The following editorial by News and Sentinel of Colebrook Publisher Karen Harrigan initially ran in that newspaper last week. It reflects, as only that hometown newspaper could, on the...
BEDFORD — Republican congressman Peter King of New York told attendees at the New England Council’s Politics and Eggs series Monday that he is against the government shutdown.
“I’ve said it from the beginning; this is madness,” said King, who has hinted he may run for President in 2016.
Jim Brett, president of the New England Council, introduced King as “a stand-up guy.”
“Peter King has emerged as the voice of reason in the Republican Party,” Brett said.
King addressed about 100 NEC members. Because of the shutdown, Obamacare is stronger than ever, he said.
He called Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a “false prophet” for leading the fight to de-fund the Affordable Care Act.
“He had no plan. There is no immediate strategy to get out of it,” King said.
King said he also blames President Barack Obama for being an absent leader, describing him as AWOL and “content in standing there and watching from the sidelines.”
King said he voted against Obamacare 42 times, but to repeal a law, you don’t just say you want to repeal it.
“You repeal it the way it was enacted,” he said. “The President and the Democrats, to give them credit, got it through the House and the Senate and the President signed it. We need to elect a Republican President.”
As a member of the Homeland Security Committee and chairman of the Sub-Committee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, King stressed the importance of national security and the continued threat of Al-Qaeda.
He has been part of the effort to have Homeland Security funding based on threat analysis and supports the war against international terrorism.
“It bothers me that this is virtually ignored in national campaigns,” he said.
He said the atmosphere in Washington, D.C. will make it difficult to get anything accomplished by the end of the year, including addressing immigration laws.
“I have always taken a tough line on immigration,” King said.
He said the American people are very sharply divided, and Congress should find common ground.
“No one is talking to no one and they’re all going to their political bases. The lines in Congress are so thinly drawn,” he said.
King, 69, is serving his 11th term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
According to his website, www.peteking.house.gov, he began his political career in November 1977 by being elected to the Hempstead, N.Y., Town Council.
Before being elected to Congress, the New York native served three terms as comptroller of Nassau County, N.Y. He also has experience as an attorney and civic leader.