Reporting Tim Kephart
South Florida Crime
WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Congressional members of both parties from New York and other areas exploded in anger at the House GOP leadership for not voting on Hurricane Sandy aid before the 112th Congress adjourned Tuesday night.
A bill had been passed by the Senate totaling $60.4 billion last Friday to help with recovery from the superstorm that ravaged New York, New Jersey, and other parts of the northeast. The House Appropriations Committee had sent a bill to vote for $27 billion and an additional $33 billion in the form of an amendment was also being considered.
When the House was preparing to adjourn, a loud contingent of lawmakers objected to a motion to adjourn. However, the presiding officer stood silently before then adjourning the House despite loud outcries.
New York Republican Representative Peter King said the move was “a cruel knife in the back” to New York and New Jersey. He went on to say Republicans have a double standard when it comes to providing aid to New York and New Jersey compared with other regions of the country.
Representative King said all Republican donors in both New York and New Jersey should not give any money to House Republicans who have been ignoring the region’s needs.
Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also erupted in anger at the lack of action by the House of Representatives.
“NYGovCuomo and I believe this continued inaction and indifference by the House of Representatives is inexcusable,” Christie tweeted Wednesday. “The fact that days continue to go by while people suffer, families are out of their homes and men and women remain jobless and struggling during these harsh winter months is a dereliction of duty. When American citizens are in need we come to their aid. That tradition was abandoned in the House last night.”
President Barack Obama also weighed in on Wednesday urging House GOP leaders to come together to support those in need.
King said Tuesday night he was told by the office of Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia that Boehner had decided to abandon a vote this session.
Cantor, who sets the House schedule, did not immediately comment. New York and New Jersey GOP lawmakers were hoping to meet with Cantor and Boehner on Wednesday.
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland told reporters that just before Tuesday evening’s vote on “fiscal cliff” legislation, Cantor told him that he was “99.9 percent confident that this bill would be on the floor, and that’s what he wanted.”
A spokesman for Boehner, Michael Steel on Wednesday would not say whether Boehner would reconsider his decision on Sandy aid, responding with the same statement he issued on Tuesday night: “The speaker is committed to getting this bill passed this month.”
However, no definitive timeline has been given on when the 113th Congress, set to be seated on Wednesday, will take up the Sandy bill.
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