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Fiscal Cliff Bill Passes With Billions in Sandy Aid Left Unaddressed

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was unwilling to introduce any Hurricane Sandy aid legislation before the chamber adjourned

Although the House of Representatives passed the Senate-approved fiscal cliff bill early Wednesday morning by a vote of 257 to 167, legislation that would provide $60.4 billion in federal aid to states affected by Hurricane Sandy did not make the cut and will need to be reintroduced in the next session.

According to The New York Times, as of late Tuesday night, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was unwilling to introduce any Hurricane Sandy aid legislation before the chamber adjourned, said lawmakers and a top Republican aide.

According to the paper, the $60.4 billion bill includes money to help homeowners and small-business owners rebuild; to repair bridges, tunnels and transportation systems; to reimburse local governments for overtime costs of police, fire and other emergency services; and to replenish shorelines.

However, discord between Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va) on which way to vote seemed to dominate the house floor into the wee hours of the morning. Ultimately, Boehner cast his vote in support of the bill, while Cantor and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca) voted against the bill, reported The Huffington Post at 1:00 a.m. today.

But as word spread that the leadership would not consider any storm-spending package this session, New York and New Jersey lawmakers descended upon the House floor Tuesday night to denounce the Republican leadership.

“This is absolutely indefensible,” said Representative Peter T. King, a Republican from Long Island, reported The Times. “We have a moral obligation to hold this vote.”

In the Senate, there was equal dismay. “It is truly heartless that the House will not even allow the Sandy bill to come to the floor for a vote, and Speaker Boehner should reconsider his ill-advised decision,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York. 

“What House leadership did last night by turning its back on families still suffering from Hurricane Sandy was indefensible and shameful," said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. "Speaker Boehner should call his members back for an up or down vote today and allow them to vote their consciences, anything less is an insult to New York.”

fit4ufor3rd January 02, 2013 at 03:45 PM
do you see new jersey? these republicans dont give a crap about you. come on christie, gets these guys on board. ramp it up, now, bloomberg, you switched parties, these are your buddies now, do something. make my town whole again. do not let us malinger and die out here.
Parksloper January 03, 2013 at 03:12 AM
Blame Christie for adding millions in PORK to the bill that has nothing to do with Sandy aid. Where do you think this money is coming from? Obama's stash? Once the pork is removed, they will act on the bill as soon Friday and Jan 15th.
BRADY January 03, 2013 at 08:56 AM
Bloomberg went from Democrat to Republican to Independant.who exactly are his friends?
Ladydi69126 January 03, 2013 at 01:32 PM
This is a slap in the face to all no matter what party you belong to. Boehner i hope if and when the time comes your state ( by he way does not pay taxes) is ever in need you get shut down but god forbid that happens all the politicians are a joke I give Kudos to Christie and King though
BRADY January 06, 2013 at 12:58 PM
One guy makes a decision and you wish ill to the entire population of the state he comes. from Nice Real Nice

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