Rep. King: 'This is a victory for the crazies'

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerCoronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 Lobbying world Pelosi-Trump relationship takes turn for the terrible MORE’s (R-Ohio) decision to resign from Congress at the end of October is “a victory for the crazies,” Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) said Friday.

“I’m disappointed. This is a victory for the crazies,” King told Newsday. “You can’t appease these people.”

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King said BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerCoronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 Lobbying world Pelosi-Trump relationship takes turn for the terrible MORE was resigning “to avoid putting the party through tumult” amid challenges to his leadership and an impending government shutdown.

The Long Island Republican also told Reuters that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is the leading contender to replace Boehner as Speaker.

King, a Boehner ally, has long been critical of hard-line conservatives in the House, accusing them of dividing the party.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of 40 to 50 conservative lawmakers, have been pressuring Boehner to defund Planned Parenthood, even if the measure could force a government shutdown.

The group had threatened to force a vote to oust Boehner as Speaker, warning his actions on the government funding bill and other issues could cost him the gavel.

Members of the House said they had no warning about Boehner’s resignation, which comes a day after Pope Francis addressed Congress — a papal visit the Speaker, a lifelong Catholic, had been trying to orchestrate for more than 20 years.