King came out swinging on the perfect election-year issue... Port Security. King opposed the Dubai World deal to take over administration of major U.S. ports. King publically broke with the Bush administration and sided with ultra-lefty, pinko commie Chuck Schumer of the "I hate America" Democratic party.
Sense any sarcasm there?
Chuck Schumer has been on the fore-front of the port security issue for years now and has been pointing out that funding is woefully inadequte. Only 5% of all incoming containers are inspected.
A few years ago, Schumer was pushing for more funding and candidate Kerry brought the issue up during the 2004 election. What was Bush's reaction back then? He said "How are we going to pay for it?" Great answer, right?
While busting the U.S. treasury for his misadventures in Iraq, Bush ignores security here at home.
King was chairman of the Emergency Preperadeness sub-commitee (see how well we were prepared or Katrina) and is now chairman of the full Homeland Security committee but had been silent on the ports issue.
We are entering the 2006 mid-term election season and King knows he is vulnerable to a strong opponent. What resonates better with voters than "security" issues?
King hopes to ride the wave of his undeserved "maverick" reputation to re-election. Too bad he votes 92% of the time with Tom Delay.
What a "maverick."
We all saw the public outcry over the Dubai World deal but what has passed into the night without press coverage is the vote on Thursday, March 16th against increasing funds for PORT SECURITY.
Take a wild guess who voted against the amendment?
That's right, Rep. Peter T. King.
The amendment proposed by Rep. Martin Sabo (D-MN) included (hat tip to Think Progress)
" $300 million to enable U.S. customs agents to inspect high-risk containers at all 140 overseas ports that ship directly to the United States. Current funding only allows U.S. customs agents to operate at 43 of these ports.
– $400 million to place radiation monitors at all U.S. ports of entry. Currently, less than half of U.S. ports have radiation monitors.
– $300 million to provide backup emergency communications equipment for the Gulf Coast."
The amendment was defeated in an almost party-line vote 210-208. A few republicans agreed that we do need more money for port security. King didn't
The amendment H.AMDT.733 (A033) was for HR4939 - Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006.
The amendment clearly falls under both "Defense" and "War on Terror" but Peter King just doesn't care.
King's vote against Port Security can be found here, Roll Call Vote #56. There are no other plans to increase funding for Port Security.
King (NY) - NO
Housekeeping note: We've been a little busy and took some time off to recharge our batteries.
More info on Kings 2003 vote against Port Security is coming up.