Rep. Anthony Weiner's incredible rant last night, directed at Republicans for killing a health bill for 9/11 responders, landed him a Fox News appearance this morning alongside his specific GOP target, Rep. Peter King. More hilarious (but interesting!) bickering ensued.
Let's explain what Weiner's so enraged about regarding Republican complaints over "procedure." The House leadership decided to fast-track this vote by not allowing amendments, a process that requires a two-thirds majority to pass. (This is commonly done for uncontroversial bills.) Republicans had wanted to bring rabble-rousing amendments — like banning any money going towards illegal immigrant victims of 9/11 toxins — to this very popular bill, in order to pin tough votes on Democrats.
Once Democrats eliminated the amendment process, Peter King started publicly calling this bill a "cruel hoax." Since he's a congressman from New York and ranking member of the Homeland Security committee, his comments provided cover for other Republicans who were worried about voting against a 9/11 health care bill, as 93% of them ended up doing. (King supported the bill personally, but released other, non-New York Republicans to vote against it, for not getting their culture-warrior amendments.)
Weiner's argument is, who cares if you didn't get your amendments? Republicans voted against the bill to give money to people who were poisoned by toxic clouds on 9/11! You can't justify voting against every uncontroversial underlying bill because you didn't get one amendment or another.
If Peter King wants to be the class act next to Weiner's unhinged, screaming banshee, telling the AP that Democrats are "afraid of taking a tough vote and as a result of that, they're willing to let cops and firefighters die" doesn't help his case.