Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) defended Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerBudowsky: Liz Cheney vs. conservatives in name only House Republicans request hearing with Capitol Police Board for first time since 1945 Press: John Boehner: good author, bad leader MORE (R-Ohio) on Wednesday after the House passed a clean debt-limit bill that raised the ire of conservatives. 

King branded as “morons” many conservatives in the GOP caucus who consistently oppose any effort to pass the debt limit, asserting they are the same faction that led to the government shutdown last year. 


“This is the same group that back in September and October went into a government shutdown that everybody knew was a disaster,” King said on MSNBC. “They ended up looking like morons following Ted Cruz over the cliff.”

King had been one of the most vocal critics of the strategy that led to the government shutdown last year. He said the Speaker tried everything to appease his members Tuesday.

However, many of them didn’t have the "guts" to vote on any proposal to raise the borrowing limit, King said. 

“John tried everything,” he said. "I was so disgusted with people in the Republican conference. So many got up and said they knew they had to pass the debt ceiling, but they didn’t have the guts to vote for it. And they wouldn’t vote for anything. And that’s why he had to do what he did.” 

The House late Tuesday passed the bill that suspends the debt limit until March of next year on a 221-201 vote. Democrats largely supported the bill, while 28 Republicans crossed over as well. 

The vote came after GOP leaders decided they did not have the Republican votes on a proposal to tie the restoration of military pension cuts to the debt ceiling.