Republicans scrap Sandy aid vote, sparks anger
WASHINGTON - The Associated Press
House head Cantor (R) said Boehner had decided to abandon the session. AFP photoNew York area-lawmakers from both parties erupted in anger late Dec. 1 after learning the House Republican leadership decided to allow the current term of Congress to end without holding a vote on aid for victims of Superstorm Sandy.
Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, said he was told by the office of Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia that Speaker John Boehner had decided to abandon a vote this session. He called the decision “absolutely inexcusable, absolutely indefensible. We cannot just walk away from our responsibilities.”
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland said that just before Dec. 1 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 said, “The speaker is committed to getting this bill passed this month.”
The Senate approved a $60.4 billion measure Dec. 28, 2012 to help with recovery from the October storm that devastated parts of New York, New Jersey and nearby states. The House Appropriations Committee has drafted a smaller, $27 billion measure, and a vote had been expected before Congress’ term ends.
“This is an absolute disgrace and the speaker should hang his head in shame,” said Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat. “I’m here tonight saying to myself for the first time that I’m not proud of the decision my team has made,” said Rep. Michael Grimm, a New York Republican.