Rep. Peter King has battled the tea party within the GOP for the past couple of years over budgetary and national security policy.
His strong disagreements with tea party favorites Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas - whom King called "a fraud" - and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky have led him to test the waters for a lonely, long-shot run for president.
Today, the veteran Seaford Republican said he once again crossed swords with that wing of his party over their continued threats to shut the government unless Democrats agree to their demands to cripple Obamacare – demands Democrats insist they reject.
At a closed door House GOP conference meeting earlier this afternoon, King said he stood up to the tea party and even his friend, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), and told them he would not go along with their plan.
The plan is to add two amendments to a temporary spending measure that Democrats already said they’ll reject - making a government shutdown more likely. One amendment would delay Obamacare’s individual mandate for a year, and the other would take away health insurance subsidies for members of Congress and their staff. Congress also must pass a rule to allow the vote on the measure.
"I was the only in conference who stood up and said I would vote no on the rule and the amendments. It's not something I take lightly," King said.
“We have too many people with echo chambers. We have too many people who are loyal to Ted Cruz,” King said.
King said he told the conference he has been loyal to Boehner, even when others in the House GOP leadership weren’t. But now he’s going his own way. He said he believes that there are 20-25 Republicans who would vote with Democrats to reject the rule.
The reaction to his rebellion?
“The only I can describe it is this: I must have been so eloquent that there was no applause,” he said. “It was silent.”