Christie put his finger on the dynamic that is likely to drive Republican politics for the next few years. A fair number of GOP members of Congress no doubt supported Boehner's move.
Rep. Darrell Issa of California, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, took to the airwaves to denounce the $60 billion bill, specifically blaming Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
"They had the opportunity to have a $27 [billion] to $30 billion dollar legit relief package, packed it with pork, then dared us not to vote on it," said Issa. "The speaker has the support of the majority of Republicans that if we're going to provide relief, we can't allow it to be doubled with unrelated pork no matter where the relief is."
Translation: Republican budget hawks plan to give the areas devastated by Sandy half -- or less -- of what New York and New Jersey requested. And even powerful, nationally popular Republicans like Christie may not be able to budge them.
One sign of where the power lies -- for the moment, at least -- is the threats made by Grimm and King.
"We were betrayed. We were let down. There have to be consequences," said Grimm, who at first suggested he might not vote for Boehner to continue as speaker.
King suggested that New York's wealthy donors close their wallets to Republican leaders. "Anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to congressional Republicans is out of their minds," he said.
Such statements betray the sort of pure frustration often voiced by men who lack the power to make good on their threats. King later pronounced himself satisfied after meeting with Boehner.
The speaker said the House will vote Friday on part of the Sandy relief package, and that the rest of the legislation will be taken up by the next Congress in about two weeks -- long enough for the different sides to catch their breath before resuming the civil war in the Republican Party.
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