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Posts tagged ‘Peter King’

Rep. Hastings Announces Retirement In Wake of Debt-Ceiling Vote.

Image: Rep. Hastings Announces Retirement In Wake of Debt-Ceiling Vote


By Todd Beamon

Rep. Doc Hastings on Thursday became the latest House Republican to announce his retirement — two days after he was part of a critical coalition of House leaders, made up of retiring GOP members and representatives primarily from Northeastern states, that backed a controversial bill to raise America’s debt ceiling without restrictions.

“Last Friday, I celebrated my 73rd birthday, and while I have the ability and seniority to continue serving central Washington, it is time for the voters to choose a new person with new energy to represent them in the people’s House,” Hastings said in a statement.

First elected in 1995, Hastings is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and recently called for overhauling the Endangered Species Act, charging that the 40-year-old law has been abused by environmental groups seeking to restrict development in the name of species protection.

The announcement came a day after GOP Rep. Gary Miller, 66, of California said that he was retiring after more than 15 years in the House because of family issues.

Hastings is now the 24th member of Congress to say that this year would be his last. He joins 13 Republicans and 11 Democrats to disclose their impending departures from Capitol Hill.

In the House, he is the 11th Republican and 18th member overall to announce his retirement.

But on Tuesday, Hastings and Miller joined with Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and 23 other House Republicans to support a one-year extension of the nation’s borrowing authority — agreeing to President Barack Obama’s demands for a debt-limit increase without any conditions.

Boehner backed the legislation, which won on a 221-201 vote. Two Democrats, John Barrow of Georgia and Jim Matheson of Utah, joined the GOP in rejecting it.

Besides splitting the House leadership — the No. 4 Republican, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state, the highest-ranking House GOP woman, was among the leaders to vote “no” — the vote rankled conservatives, tea party supporters and rank-and-file Republicans.

The Senate Conservatives Fund even charged that Boehner should be replaced as speaker.

These groups were further outraged the next day when the Senate voted — after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, and Minority Whip John Cornyn, of Texas, led an assault on a filibuster by Sen. Ted Cruz — to pass a similar debt bill on a straight 55-43 party-line vote.

In the House, the 28 Republicans voting for the measure included six who are retiring at the end of the year. Besides Hastings and Miller, they are Howard Coble, N.C.; Buck McKeon, Calif.; Jon Runyan, N.J.; and Frank Wolf, Va.

“You’ve got retirees, the leadership and Republicans in safe districts with a Northeastern bias,” political analyst and pollster Doug Schoen explained to Newsmax on Thursday.

“Basically, the votes they gave were enough to get it passed — and they didn’t want to put anyone at risk,” he added. “It was retirees, leadership, and Northeastern moderate Republicans who could take the vote without a problem.”

Others in the top House leadership who supported the debt ceiling bill included Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, Mich.; Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, Calif.; Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, Ky.; and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, Calif.

Those Northeastern Republicans on board included four from New York — Reps. Chris Collins, Michael Grimm, Richard Hanna, Peter King — as well as three each from neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Seven California House members backed the measure.

“Put it another way: For the Republican base, this is toxic — and the way the process was organized was to insulate the party and its grass-roots as much as possible to avoid any political problems,” Schoen told Newsmax.

The primary problem was avoiding another federal government shutdown, similar to the partial one that lasted 16 days in October and cost taxpayers $1.4 billion — especially when the GOP could possibly retake the Senate in this fall’s congressional elections.

“It goes back to their basis thesis: We get through this. We don’t fight on an issue we can’t win because, ultimately, this election is moving in our direction — and we don’t need to have a problem like the problem we had with the government shutdown.”

Political strategist Dick Morris described the House skirmishing on Thursday as “phony” and “fraudulent.”

“Boehner went to his caucus and said: ‘Hey guys, let’s approve the debt limit in return for pretty-good spending cuts or other restorations,'” Morris told John Bachman on “America’s Forum” on Newsmax TV. “The House Republicans said, or enough of them said: ‘We’re not going to vote for a debt-limit increase under any circumstance. You could balance the whole budget and we’re not going to go for it.’

“He didn’t have his 218 votes to pass it — and he couldn’t get any Democratic votes if there were cuts,” Morris said of Boehner.

The Ohio Republican then put together the GOP coalition to support the clean bill.

“All of these Republican congressmen can now go to their primary opponents from the tea party and say, ‘Hey, I voted against raising the debt limit’ — knowing darn well that they were willing to vote for it if they needed it,” Morris said.

Schoen saw it another way.

“The Republican Party did not want to vote to increase the debt ceiling,” he said. “Because they are in the majority, they had to provide some votes — in this case, 28 — to go along with near-unanimous Democratic support to get it done.

“The leadership understood that it was in their interest, long-term, to increase the debt ceiling without any riders or any possibility of paralyzing the government,” Schoen added. “The vast majority of Republicans, for a variety of reasons, disagree.

“For John Boehner, this became a practical step to avoid more political harakiri.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Olympics-Bound Airlines Warned of Toothpaste Bombs.

Airlines bound for Russia and the Winter Olympics in Sochi are being warned to be on the lookout for toothpaste tubes that could contain bomb-making ingredients and may be smuggled aboard by terrorists, reports said Wednesday.

“Out of an abundance of caution, [the Department of Homeland Security] regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners, including those associated with international events such as the Sochi Olympics,” says an agency statement obtained by ABC News, NBC News and CNN.

“While we are not aware of a specific threat to the homeland at this time, this routine communication is an important part of our commitment to making sure we meet that priority,” the statement says.

“As always, our security apparatus includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, and DHS will continue to adjust security measures to fit an ever-evolving threat environment.”

Earlier Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry told CNN that “anybody who wants to go to the Olympics, which are just a great event, should go. And we’re not telling people not to go.”

Kerry’s comments came before the advisory was reported, however.

A federal law enforcement source told ABC News the advisory is aimed at foreign airliners — and doesn’t relate to the United States. The Russian government has been informed.

But New York Republican Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence, told CNN the threat should be a heads-up for U.S. travelers, the airlines and officials at the Olympic Games.

“Any type of explosive, concealed explosive, can be extremely damaging,” he said. “It could be enough to bring down a plane . . . This is the type of threat that we’re very concerned about.”

Security in Sochi has been tightened for months, with an eye on Islamic militants in the region. Last month, Russian authorities announced that no liquids would be allowed on planes to Sochi, ABC News reported.

The Games begin Friday.

Sochi is 300 miles from the north Caucasus region, where Islamic militancy is well known.

ABC News reported that Doku Umarov, known as “Russia’s Osama bin Laden,” reportedly told followers last summer that they should do what they could to disrupt the Games, which he called a “satanic dance” on the bones of their ancestors, ABC News reported.

On Tuesday, counter-terrorism official Matthew Olsen spoke before Congress on whether those Muslim fundamentalists could attack selected targets, CNN reported.

“There are a number of specific threats of varying degrees of credibility that we’re tracking,” he said. “And we’re working very closely with the Russians and with other partners to monitor any threats we see and to disrupt those.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Cathy BurkeMuslim

Peter King: No Guarantees on Olympic Safety.

Image: Peter King: No Guarantees on Olympic Safety

With Russia’s refusal to fully share intelligence there is no way to ensure people attending the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, will be safe from terrorism, says Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.

“I cannot give a 100 percent guarantee,” King said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” 

The Sochi Olympics are going to be more threatened than any in the recent past, King said, including Greece, London and China. And those countries were all much more willing to co-operate with U.S. intelligence.

The U.S. government has told American athletes not to wear USA gear outside the Olympic venues to avoid being targets of terrorists.

“There are real threats there,” King said.

Two terrorist bombs have already killed 31 people in a city visitors will have to go through to reach the Olympics, and separatists from the Russian republics of Chechnya and Dagestan have vowed to hit the games set for Feb. 7-23.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he has put up a “ring of steel” around the resort town near the North Caucasus, but fears exist that a group of women known as “black widows” may already have infiltrated the area before the so-called ring was set up.

The area is near where the Tsarnaev brothers, who are believed to have bombed the Boston Marathon, are from. The area is a hotbed of terrorism.

“Hopefully, things will work out, but it’s nowhere near ideal,” King said.
King was much more confident about security in a major sports event slated to take place nearer his home: Super Bowl XLVII.

Weather is the biggest threat concerning organizers of the first outdoor Super Bowl in a winter climate set for Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

But the first “mass transit Super Bowl” does present some security concerns, King said. Many people will be coming to the game by subway, and with the cold weather, people can conceal things under clothing, he said.

“To the extent that any athletic event can be safe, the Super Bowl will be,” he said, explaining that, unlike the Olympics, law enforcement is cooperating at all levels.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Peter King: Benefits Extension, Wage Hike, Possible with Reforms.

Republican Rep. Peter King said Sunday an extension of unemployment benefits for out-of-work Americans would be acceptable if there is some sort of offset to the cost offered by Democrats.

“I would like to find a way to get a compromise to extend unemployment insurance, at least for a brief period of time, but at the same time, the Democrats should make compromises,” King said. Relaxing “burdensome regulations” on the economy, he said, is one example of concession that could lead to a deal.

“I’m not saying it has to be offset dollar-for-dollar, but there has to be some compromise coming from the Democrats,” King added on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “I don’t want to have this permanent state of unemployment insurance, where we end up like Europe. The ultimate answer is not unemployment insurance. The ultimate answer is more jobs.”

Regarding minimum wage, the New Yorker said he would consider an increase, “but it has to be coinciding with some of the burdens that are on employers.”

Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., said on the same program that if Senate Majoirty Leader Harry Reid would offer a “reasonable idea” to offset the cost of extending unemployment benefits, “I think that he might find some people that are willing to talk to him.”

On Monday, the Senate is scheduled to vote on a bipartisan bill that would extend benefits for the long-term unemployed by three months. The Obama administration has been pushing for lawmakers to support the measure.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Amy Woods

Mike Rogers, King Blast NYT Benghazi Report: ‘Misleading’.

Image: Mike Rogers, King Blast NYT Benghazi Report: 'Misleading' Rep. Peter King, left, and Rep. Mike Rogers

By Newsmax Wires

Two of the House’s top experts on terrorism blasted a New York Times report that says al-Qaida did not carry out the 2012 attack on the U.S diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

The Times report, published Saturday and based on numerous interviews with Islamists in Benghazi, concludes that there was no evidence that al-Qaida or any other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault that killed four Americans on September 11, 2012.

Instead, the Times reports that the attack was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made anti-Islamic video, as the Obama administration first claimed. The attackers were entirely locally based Islamist malcontents with few if any contacts outside of Libya.

But New York Rep. Peter King, member and former chairman of the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told Fox News that the story’s premise that other anti-American militias led the attack is at best academic.

“It’s misleading,” King said. “It’s a distinction without a difference.” King specifically challenged the notion in the Times piece that the Libya-based terror group Ansar al-Shariah somehow was not part of the al-Qaida Islamist network.

“They are saying that ­al-Shariah is involved, but al-Shariah is a part of the al-Qaida umbrella, the al-Qaida network,” King said, challenging the Times’ conclusion that al-Shariah “had no known ­affiliations with terrorist groups.”

“Al-Shariah is a pro- al-Qaida terrorist organization,” King said, adding that the video had little to do with the attack, which he said was highly organized.

“This was a well-coordinated attack,” he said. “This was not a ragtag group.”

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, told “Fox News Sunday” that the attack was clearly an “al-Qaida-led event.”

Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said his panel has gone through 4,000 classified cables, talked to people on the ground and done a postmortem on the event. He doubts, he said, whether the newspaper conducted such an exhaustive investigation.

“So what did they get wrong?” host Chris Wallace asked.

“That al-Qaida was not involved in this,” Rogers said. “There was some level of pre-planning. We know that. There was aspiration to conduct an attack by al-Qaida and their affiliates in Libya. We know that. The individuals on the ground talked about a planned tactical movement on the compound even. … That tells me they didn’t talk to people on the ground who where doing the fighting, shooting and the intelligence-gathering.”

Fellow committee member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., agreed with Rogers that intelligence shows that al-Qaida was involved in the attack. But other groups were involved, too, Schiff said.

Schiff called it a “complex picture.” There was some pre-planning, he said, but it was not extensive, and people joined in the attack for multiple reasons, including because of an anti-Muslim video produced by a man in the United States.

Rogers also disputed the contention that al-Shariah was key to the attack. The intelligence shows otherwise, he told Wallace.

“Now, do they have differences of opinion with al-Qaida core? Yes. Do they have affiliations with al-Qaida core? Definitely,” he said.

Rogers said he doesn’t know whether the story was politically motivated to clear former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before an expected presidential run in 2016. But he is suspicious of the timing, especially with former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice talking about the subject on “60 Minutes” last week.

“I don’t want to speculate on why they might do it,” Rogers said, adding that what is being presented in The Times and on “60 Minutes” has been shown by committee testimony not to be accurate.

The attack killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, Foreign Service officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

The Times’ conclusion also conflicts with other evidence, including the testimony of Greg Hicks, Stevens’ deputy, Fox reports. 

Hicks described the video as “a non-event in Libya” at that time, and consequently not a significant trigger for the attack. Also, a separate report by a leading social media firm found that the first reference to the anti-Islam film that was initially blamed for sparking the attack was not detected on social media until a day later.

Rep. Darrell Issa also stood by his conclusions that a group affiliated with al-Qaida was involved.

“It was accurate,” Issa said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “There was a group that was involved that claims an affiliation with al-Qaida.”

Issa said that Times reporter David Kirkpatrick did “very good work” but that he has seen no evidence that the video was the attack’s leading cause, a claim made by then-UN ambassador Susan Rice in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

The administration should come clean about misstatements about the causes of the attack, even if those claims were made to protect the CIA outpost in Benghazi, Issa said.

“They went out on five stations and told the story that was at best a coverup for the CIA or at worst something that cast away this idea that there was a real terrorist operation in Benghazi,” Issa said.

Kirkpatrick, who also appeared on the show, said that Republicans like Issa, King and Rogers conflated local Islamic militant groups with international al-Qaida.

“If you’re using the term al-Qaida to describe even a local group of Islamist militants who dislike democracy or have a grudge against the United States, If you’re going to call anybody like that ‘al-Qaida,’ then, okay,” he said.

A senior Obama administration official told NBC News on Saturday that the White House does not dispute the New York Times report.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Peter King Story Sparks Media Commotion.

A storm of media interest erupted after Newsmax broke the story on Wednesday that Rep. Peter King was seriously considering a White House run in 2016.

The Newsmax article by John Gizzi disclosed that New York Republican King, past chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is being encouraged by friends in and outside New York to seek the GOP nomination for president.

“A lot of folks are telling him to do it and he sure acts interested,” a source disclosed.

In an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday morning, King credited Newsmax with sparking talk about a White House run.

“Newsmax came to me, said they were going to do a story,” he said. “I found out the story was posted online. I said I would consider the race.”

King also expressed concern about America’s security after Obama pulls U.S. troops out of Afghanistan: “If we pull out, how are we different from September 10, 2001?”

After the Newsmax story broke, the “media storm” began. The New York Daily News was among the many media outlets to report that King is “weighing a run” for the White House, noting on Thursday night that “the idea of a presidential bid was floated by the conservative website Newsmax.”

ABC News interviewed King on Thursday about a White House run while acknowledging that King “was first mentioned as a possible candidate in an article by Newsmax.”

CBS News also interviewed King about his potential candidacy on Thursday, reporting that “a number of people have asked Rep. Peter King to consider a presidential run.”

The Huffington Post reported: “The media storm began Wednesday when Newsmax reported that King was being encouraged by friends to pursue the GOP presidential nomination.”

Talking Points Memo noted that “it’s hard to be surprised by anything involving Rep. Peter King. Nevertheless, a report by the conservative outlet Newsmax did the trick. It featured some of King’s allies pushing the idea that the longtime New York lawmaker, known for his tough talk and cable news ubiquity, could run for president in 2016.”

CNN reported on King’s potential candidacy on Thursday, observing that “few expected Republican Rep. Peter King, a longtime congressman from Long Island, to submit his name to the possible crop of contenders. King did just that.”

Fox News also reported that King is “weighing a run for the White House,” and if he runs “he would focus on homeland security and counterterrorism.”

Politicker stated: “Newsmax reported that Long Island GOP Congressman Peter King, not widely considered one of the top contenders for the White House in 2016, was nevertheless looking at running for president.”

Politico stated on Friday: “King acknowledged he was considering a run after a conservative website floated his potential bid.”

And The New York Times observed: “If nothing else, talk of a presidential run will mobilize his financial supporters at a time when Democrats see Mr. King, a devout Catholic with conservative positions on a number of social issues, as increasingly vulnerable to a challenge in heavily Democratic New York.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Rep. Peter King Mulls 2016 Presidential Bid.

Image: Rep. Peter King Mulls 2016 Presidential Bid

By John Gizzi

In a recent political development that could only be called surprising, Newsmax has learned that U.S. Rep. Peter King, past chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, is being encouraged by friends in and outside the Empire State to seek the GOP nomination for president in 2016.

Several of those friends said the popular Republican — who turned 69 in April and is now in his 11th term as congressman from New York’s Third District — has returned the show of support with a strong maybe.

Editor’s Note: Weird Trick Adds $1,000 to Your Social Security Checks 

King, one of the House’s most vocal national security advocates, is said to be concerned about the declining preparedness situation and economic malaise he sees the nation facing after President Barack Obama has been twice-elected.

“I saw Peter last week and he certainly didn’t rule [a presidential run] out,” said one source close to the congressman who requested anonymity. “A lot of folks are telling him to do it and he sure acts interested.”

King has a base of support, including wealthy donors, in New York and across the country for his strong stance in dealing with terrorism and homeland security issues. In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and the debate on immigration reform now raging in Congress, King has become a frequent fixture discussing security-related issues on Fox News and numerous other media forums.

“I think it would be a great thing if Peter King ran for president,” Michael Mukasey, former federal judge and U.S. attorney general under George W. Bush, told Newsmax.

“At a time when terrorism poses a greater danger than ever to our country, Peter has a terrific background in this area and a superb background in legislative affairs,” Mukasey said. “He’s a great leader, and I would applaud his running.”

Former California Republican Rep. Barry Goldwater Jr., son of the GOP’s iconic conservative senator, agreed.

Goldwater, who has campaigned for King since his first House race back in 1992, told Newsmax that “we’ve fallen down in foreign policy and, under Bush and Obama, we’ve become too quick to march off to war without considering foreign cultures and religions first. Peter well understands this. He stands out in a crowd and says what’s on his mind.”

Other supporters note that King, while occasionally casting a maverick vote that annoys the Republican Party establishment (his lifetime American Conservative Union rating in Congress is 74 percent), nevertheless votes conservative more often than not.

He also wins big re-election victories in suburban Long Island, with his district encompassing parts of Nassau and Suffolk counties. Those counties have been trending Democratic in recent years. In 2010, King won re-election with 72 percent of the vote. And last year, while Obama won New York in a landslide, Republican King breezed to a congressional victory with 59 percent.

King fans believe his popularity is transferable and argue that he will also have appeal in heartland states like Iowa and South Carolina, key Republican primary states. A devout Roman Catholic, he has a solid record on the pro-life issue and most cultural matters.

Catholics increasingly have become a swing voter group and are seen as critical to Republican success nationally. Still, the GOP has only put two Catholics on their national ticket — vice presidential nominees and Reps. William Miller of New York in 1964 and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin in 2012.

“Peter can speak to and assemble the old Ronald Reagan Democrats — and he’s a world-renowned expert on global terrorism and national defense,” former Rep. Vito Fosella, a New York Republican and close friend of King’s, told Newsmax. “He has broad appeal and that’s why he keeps winning in the Northeast when other Republicans come and go.”

A King candidacy, however, will face an uphill battle. There is precedent: The last candidate to go successfully from the House of Representatives to the White House was James A. Garfield in 1880. Since then, the political graveyards have grown full of House hopefuls whose presidential ambitions were dashed, including recent candidates Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul.

Editor’s Note: Weird Trick Adds $1,000 to Your Social Security Checks 

“The road to the White House does not seem to lead directly from the House,” historian David Pietrusza, author of three best-selling books on presidential campaigns, told Newsmax, “Ask [Reps.] Dennis Kucinich, Mo Udall, Phil Crane, John Anderson, Thaddeus McCotter, or Michele Bachmann. King has limited name ID beyond Long Island and inveterate Fox watchers. He would serve the party better by running for statewide office in 2014.”

But King supporters note that a relatively unknown state legislator from Illinois made a pit stop in the U.S. Senate only to find himself in the Oval Office. Peter’s visibility, experience, and leadership skills far outweigh what young Sen. Barack Obama offered the public when he announced his presidential bid in 2007.

King is well-liked by conservative grass-roots leaders, and while he sports a conservative voting record, similar to Sen. John McCain, he takes stands on some issues that may be irksome to the right. For example, he still supports congressional earmarks and voted for the 2008 Wall Street bailout.

Still, as the Boston Marathon bombings and the growing unrest in the Mideast suggest, the country may be looking for a “security” candidate in 2016, as the GOP seeks to field a candidate who can win over independent and Democratic voters to create a new national majority. King, his supporters tell Newsmax, is the man who can do this.

Even some political pundits suggest the public could be ready for something different.

Mark Kennedy, director of the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University and himself a former Republican U.S. Representative from Minnesota, said of a King presidential bid, “Any House member attempting a presidential run faces several obstacles: low name ID nationwide, a large database of recorded votes from which opponents can cherry-pick for negative advertising, and the overall unpopularity of the current Congress.”

“But Congressman Peter King does have several assets that could help him in a possible run: impeccable cultural conservative credentials, expert knowledge of terrorism and homeland security, and an independent streak that could appeal to general election voters,” Kennedy said.

King’s office declined to comment on the story. But King allies say they are already surveying the political and donor landscape and hoping he jumps in. After more than two decades in Congress, King may be ready for his next big challenge.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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