112th Congress Punts on Sandy Aid Bill

Boehner sparks outrage by tabling vote on $60.4B in FEMA aid
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2013 6:45 AM CST
112th Congress Punts on Sandy Aid Bill
Speaker of the House John Boehner said the House will not vote on Sandy aid this session.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The 112th Congress may have squeaked through a deal on the fiscal cliff, but shortly afterward John Boehner announced that it won't be voting on a $60.4 billion FEMA aid package for victims of Hurricane Sandy, reports USA Today. Though the Senate passed the bill and the House had been expected to pick it up last night, Boehner announced late that the decision would have to wait until the new session of Congress, which begins tomorrow. This likely means that the Senate will have to vote anew on the package.

A bipartisan cadre of legislators from affected districts blasted the delay, with New York Rep. Pete King calling it "unprecedented for the United States Congress to walk away from a natural disaster. This to me is just walking away from responsibility." New Jersey's Rush Holt said he was unable to speak on the matter because "I'm afraid my anger is going to get the better of me." But a spokesman for Boehner says that the speaker is "committed to getting this bill passed this month," and cited reports that FEMA has all the money it needs til spring anyway. (Read more Hurricane Sandy stories.)

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