BoehnerJohn BoehnerBoehner compares Trump to Teddy Roosevelt Boehner: 'Thank God' I wasn't in the middle of election Ryan delays committee assignments until 2017 MORE and other GOP leaders later on Wednesday committed to holding a vote Friday on providing $9 billion in relief for Sandy, and $51 billion on Jan. 15, according to New York Republican Rep. Pete King.
King earlier had suggested in a Wednesday interview on Fox News that people in the Northeast should not donate to congressional Republicans because of the Sandy issue.
Cox said that he understands King's frustration, and that while local Republicans active in state and national politics had expressed similar frustration to him over the inaction, he didn't expect any of them to follow King's advice.
"I think that they will understand that the best hope for this country, and keeping us from becoming bankrupt like Greece, is the Republican Party," he said.
New York Republican Rep. Michael Grimm joined King in criticizing Boehner, saying he feels that the failure to bring the legislation to the floor "was a betrayal" and that he is now questioning his support for Boehner as Speaker of the House.
But Cox insisted the blame lay not with Boehner but largely with President Obama, for failing to lead.
"Much of the blame goes on the president at the end. The bottom line is this all came together at the last moment here, and if Sandy had just been on its own then it could've gotten done," he said.
Cox added that much of the problem was with the timing of the bill, and the fact that, he said, it included too much extraneous spending.
"This was a lot to throw at them with very little time. The senators had two months to work on this, and they finally got a bill over to the House that did have some issues with it, with respect to putting a lot of pork in it. [It's a] House that is very concerned about being fiscally responsible and they just passed a cliff bill that did nothing with respect to the national debt, and then, with those concerns in mind, now you're asking them to pass something with pork in it?" he said.
Cox said that the New York GOP and the state's congressional delegation had been working together till 2 a.m. early Wednesday morning, sending texts and making phone calls to each other and Boehner's staff, to try to figure out a way to move the bill forward. The negotiations were continuing today, Cox added, and he said he hopes to find a way to get the legislation passed quickly.
But Cox cautioned that efforts to politicize the aid package could bog down negotiations. New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie and New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo denounced House leadership for not holding a vote on the aid package in a joint statement on Wednesday, a move from Cuomo that Cox called "a huge mistake."
"The governor's playing partisan politics with this was a huge mistake on his part, and it was not helpful in getting things done," he said.