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Republican

Rep. Peter King (R)

Peter King Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-7896

Address: 339 CHOB, DC 20515

Peter King Committees
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Peter King Biography
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  • Elected: 1992, 11th term.
  • District: New York 2
  • Born: Apr. 05, 1944, Manhattan
  • Home: Seaford
  • Education:

    St. Francis Col., B.A. 1965, U. of Notre Dame, J.D. 1968

  • Professional Career:

    Practicing atty., 1968–72, 1978–81; Dep. atty., Nassau Cnty., 1972–74; Exec. asst., Nassau Cnty. exec., 1974–76, Gen. cnsl., comptroller, 1977.

  • Military Career:

    Army Natl. Guard, 1968–73.

  • Political Career:

    Hempstead Town Cncl., 1977–81; Nassau Cnty. comptroller, 1981–92.

  • Religion:

    Catholic

  • Family: Married (Rosemary); 2 children

Republican Peter King, first elected in 1992, went from being known mainly as a loquacious maverick to becoming a serious counterweight to the Obama administration on domestic security matters. Read More

Republican Peter King, first elected in 1992, went from being known mainly as a loquacious maverick to becoming a serious counterweight to the Obama administration on domestic security matters.

King grew up in Sunnyside, Queens. His parents were Irish immigrants and Democrats, his father a New York City police detective. He went to St. Francis College and law school at the University of Notre Dame, and he clerked one summer at former Republican President Richard Nixon’s law firm with a Long Islander named Rudolph Giuliani. After law school, he followed the trek to the suburbs and became part of the Nassau County Republican machine. He worked as a lawyer and staffer in county government beginning in 1972, and in 1981, he became county comptroller.

When 22-year Republican Rep. Norman Lent retired in 1992, King ran for the seat and won the Republican primary. In the general election, King ran as a fiscal conservative and abortion rights opponent. He won by just 50%-46% but hasn’t had a close reelection since.

King’s voting record ranks him near the ideological center of the House. He is more conservative on foreign policy than on economic or social issues, but with distinctive interests. He is far to the left of other Republicans on gun control, declaring after the Newtown, Conn., school massacre that Americans “don’t need assault weapons” and renewing his call for background checks for firearm purchases at gun shows. He opposes racial quotas and preferences as well as bilingual education. He supports English-only laws and opposes aid to illegal immigrants. He bucked his friends in organized labor in 2009 by opposing their “card-check” bill to facilitate union organizing. He was among the Republicans in 2012 to throw off the restraints of anti-tax activist Grover Norquist’s never-raise-taxes pledge. Norquist angrily accused him of trying to “weasel out” of an agreement; King called Norquist “a lowlife.”

King has been an ardent supporter of the Irish Republican Army. He had a role in 1998 peace negotiations, carrying messages between the IRA and the Irish government. His activism on the issue led to an unusually close bipartisan relationship with President Bill Clinton, who helped broker the agreement. But in 2005, after the suspected involvement of Sinn Féin, the IRA’s political arm, in a bank robbery and a highly publicized murder, King called for the IRA to disband. He has written three novels about politics and diplomacy in Northern Ireland. In one of them, Deliver Us From Evil, a thinly disguised Long Island congressman is the protagonist. “Maybe after I retire from Congress, or get thrown out of Congress, or whatever, I’ll be a writer because as I’ve seen from some newspaper columnists, almost anyone can be a writer,” he told the Long Island Sentinel.

Over the years, King has been a provocative presence on radio and television chat shows. During September and October 2012 alone, his aides told Newsday, he made 67 appearances. When House Republican leaders abruptly pulled from the floor a relief bill for Hurricane Sandy in January 2013, two months after it ravaged the East Coast, King went on CNN to declare, “There’s some dysfunction in the Republican leadership,” and suggested on Fox News that New York and New Jersey residents stop donating to his party. House Speaker John Boehner pacified King by eventually bringing up two Sandy bills, which passed easily. But King later told Newsday that he has come to feel like a “second-class citizen in the Republican caucus” as it has become more South-oriented.

After the September 11 attacks, in which 160 of his constituents died, King became more of a Republican Party regular and focused on legislation to prevent a repeat of the attacks. In 2005, GOP leaders tapped King to be chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. The following year, he was the first House Republican to attack the Bush administration’s plan to give control of six major U.S. ports to a company in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, and he subsequently helped to enact tighter controls on port security.

After President Barack Obama’s election, King sharpened his rhetoric on terrorist threats. He told Newsday in December 2009 that the president was not tough enough on Muslim extremists: “Part of his liberal DNA is that he does not want to use the word ‘terrorism’ unless he absolutely has to,” he said. He said excessive concerns about discrimination against Muslims had hamstrung authorities in the case of Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who went on a killing rampage at Fort Hood in Texas. When the Homeland Security Department published a report in April 2009 about domestic right-wing extremism, King complained that the agency “has never put out a report talking about ‘Look out for mosques.’” The Council on American-Islamic Relations called his remarks “bigoted.” Nevertheless, King later praised Obama’s willingness to kill terrorist leaders with unmanned drone attacks. In 2012, he gave the president credit for preventing another September 11.

After Republicans regained control of the House in 2010, King decided to pursue hearings on what he described as “the radicalization of the American Muslim community and homegrown terrorism.” Islamic leaders said they feared a witch hunt, and King acknowledged that his stance carried risks. “It is controversial,” he told The New York Times. “But to me, it is something that has to be discussed.” The hearings opened in March 2011 amid massive publicity and heightened round-the-clock security for King following reports of threats against him. Some Muslim groups accused him of a double standard in his fervent support of the IRA. King responded, “The fact is, the IRA never attacked the United States. And my loyalty is to the United States.”

Under House GOP rules, King was term-limited from chairing the committee after the 112th Congress (2011-12). He sought a waiver to continue in the post, but Boehner denied it. King settled for the chairmanship of Homeland Security’s Counterterrorism and Intelligence Subcommittee.

As one of the few remaining moderate Republicans in Congress, King has occasionally been held up in GOP circles as an example of how the party can make inroads in Democratic territory like the Northeast. Nassau County legislator David Mejias, a Democrat, ran against King in 2006 with an endorsement from the AFL-CIO. In an otherwise dismal year for New York Republicans, King won 56%-44%. He also had easy wins in 2008 and 2010. National and New York Democrats publicly vowed to redraw his district following the 2010 census, and made it more marginal politically. But their potential top recruit, Nassau County Prosecutor Kathleen Rice, opted not to run in 2012, and King won easily with 59%.

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Peter King Election Results
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2012 General
Peter King (R)
Votes: 142,309
Percent: 58.68%
Vivianne Falcone (D)
Votes: 100,545
Percent: 41.32%
2012 Primary
Peter King (R)
Unopposed
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (72%), 2008 (64%), 2006 (56%), 2004 (63%), 2002 (72%), 2000 (60%), 1998 (64%), 1996 (55%), 1994 (59%), 1992 (50%)
Peter King Votes and Bills
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National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 52 (L) : 47 (C) 48 (L) : 52 (C) 43 (L) : 56 (C)
Social 52 (L) : 47 (C) 49 (L) : 50 (C) 53 (L) : 47 (C)
Foreign 33 (L) : 67 (C) 48 (L) : 51 (C) 43 (L) : 54 (C)
Composite 46.0 (L) : 54.0 (C) 48.7 (L) : 51.3 (C) 47.0 (L) : 53.0 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC9083
LCV149
CFG4857
ITIC-100
NTU6563
20112012
COC93-
ACLU-0
ACU5660
ADA250
AFSCME14-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Find AG in contempt
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote:
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase minimum wage
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Share immigration data
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Foreign aid abortion ban
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 8/08
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • No operations in Iran
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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