A conservative House Republican who opposed House Speaker John Boehner’s attempts to pass a “clean” bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security said he faced “retribution” for his efforts.
Iowa Rep. Steve King, a leading conservative opponent of President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, said the Speaker’s office canceled funding at the last-minute for what he called “a very important diplomatic mission.” That came after King and a group of about 50 Republicans opposed Boehner’s eleventh-hour attempt to fund the Department of Homeland Security without rolling back the executive order.
“He’s currently throwing tantrums,” King said of Boehner. “This is retribution on the highest scale.”
King said the trip “had been signed off on, certified, authorized, everything all booked” until the last-minute cancellation.
“Apparently the people whom he most objects to for disagreeing with him are now grounded to the United States,” King said in an interview last week with conservative radio host Simon Conway.
A Boehner spokesman declined to comment on the allegations.
Grumblings of a potential coup by conservatives in the House didn’t materialize after the Homeland Security funding debacle, but King said the “appetite is growing” to challenge Boehner’s position as the leader of the House Republican caucus.
Boehner faced several minor challenges to his Speakership earlier this year at the start of the new Congress, but the House’s most conservative members couldn’t pull the votes to oust Boehner, let alone push the elections for speaker to a second round of voting.
Boehner and his House leadership team stood firm on the Republican plan to tie funding for the Department of Homeland Security to Obama’s executive action to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. But as Senate Republicans insisted Congress could not fail to fund DHS, pressure mounted on the House Republican leadership to pass a clean funding measure.