Lawmakers Press House Speaker For Vote on Sandy Aid
A last-minute decision to pull a bill to provide billions in storm recovery funds creates an uproar
Instead of voting on Hurricane Sandy aid as expected, House Speaker John Boehner pulled the legislation from the floor, sending lawmakers into an uproar. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., called the decision not to vote on the aid bill before Congress' term ended a "cruel knife in the back" to New York and New Jersey.
The Senate had approved a $60.4 billion measure Friday to help Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states with recovery from the superstorm; the matter was to have been taken up by the House late Tuesday night before Boehner decided to pull it. Gov. Chris Christie (R) of New Jersey and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) of New York released a joint statement, calling the decision a “dereliction of duty.” President Barack Obama also criticized the House for making suffering families and communities wait for needed financial assistance.
Late Wednesday afternoon, Boehner agreed to put a House bill on the floor Friday and again by Jan. 15 to address funding with members of the new Congress that will be sworn in Thursday. However, any new legislation will have to be debated by the incoming Senate as well before action can be taken. (AP)