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House Fails to Vote on Sandy Relief

A West End Street the day after Hurricane Sandy slammed Long Beach in October.  (Credit: Joseph Kellard)
A West End Street the day after Hurricane Sandy slammed Long Beach in October. (Credit: Joseph Kellard)
UPDATE:

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has promised to hold a vote on the disaster relief bill by Jan. 15, according to Rep. Peter King.

Original story...

The House of Representatives will not vote on a $60.4 billion disaster relief bill that the Senate approved last Friday to aid Hurricane Sandy victims in New Jersey and New York, including Long Island from Long Beach to the Hamptons, House officials said Tuesday.  

WATCH: Outrage in Congress After Sandy Aid Stalls

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, pulled the bill back from a vote that was expected Wednesday after a late night session in Congress on New Year’s Day. Rep. Peter King, R-Seaford, the congressman who is primarily pushing for the emergency aid package, said failure to hold the vote means certain funds that require authorization – including FEMA disaster monies – will be delayed, possibly by another five to six weeks, according to Newsday. Said King:

"Tonight's action not to hold this vote on the supplemental is absolutely indefensible. The bill was ready to go."

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-Mineola, Tweeted Tuesday night, "Washington at its worst: House R majority saying "drop dead" to Sandy victims by keeping aid bill from getting vote." Additionally, she encouraged her Twitter followers to "Call House Speaker John Boehner's office at 202-225-0600 to help demand a vote on the Sandy aid bill."

Meanwhile, Boehner spokesman, Michael Steel, said the speaker is “committed to getting the bill passed this month,” according to the Associated Press.

In a joint statement released by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the pair called the inaction 'inexcusable.'

"It has now been 66 days since Hurricane Sandy hit and 27 days since President Obama put forth a responsible aid proposal that passed with a bi-partisan vote in the Senate while the House has failed to even bring it to the floor," they said.

The Senate last week passed the emergency aid package by a vote of 63-32.

This story was last updated at 7:07 p.m. on Jan. 2.

Jaime Sumersille contributed to this article.


paul.d.spellman January 03, 2013 at 08:06 AM
Does anyone realize how this bill would have helped the average resident of Long Beach? Would this new money had our adjusters complete their reports any quicker so our Flood insurer could give us the measly check? Would this infusion have made our homeowners carrier have a change of heart and miraculously cover all of our expenses? Had it been passed would the magic bus been driving house to house handing out 5 gallon buckets packed with cash? What exactly are we missing since it was not passed?
Chris Wendt January 03, 2013 at 11:33 AM
The sad truth is that Pete King used to be one of the leaders of our party. But to his credit, meaning to save something for Pete King out of this utter mess, leadership requires both leaders and people willing to be led by them. I think it is clear that my party, the Republican Party, has been hijacked by a faction that will not allow themselves to be led, yet, are incapable of leading, themselves. Until this moment I believed that the Republican Party could be saved from within, by leaders like Pete King. I presently doubt that very much. I also believe that the party has done too much damage to its own reputation, its repute, to be effective (meaning constructive, creative, dynamic, and beneficial to we, the people) at the national level. We may actually be at the brink of the kind of schism within the current GOP that could lead to the formation of the first successful Third Party in our history. No, that party will not be the Tea Party. The Tea Party will become the remnants of the dying Republican Party, and the real Republican leaders, like Peter King, will be at the heart of the new party, which does not presently have a name. The best way for real Republican leaders to deal with the hijacking of the national party by the Tea Baggers would be for sitting lawmakers, like King, to change their affiliation from Republican to Independent, and thereby remove the majority status from Boehner, Cantor, and McCarthy, leaving them without the ability to rule.
Outsider January 03, 2013 at 11:37 AM
The people who are missing out are the ones who refused to have flood insurance. The ones being penalized are the ones with flood insurance.
Vincent January 03, 2013 at 12:22 PM
Chris Wendt: But you don't understand. Boehner and our Republican Party was too busy concentrating on a contrived 'fiscal clill' that even the most liberal Economist, Paul Krugman said the passing of was more than the libs could ever hope for as they didn't have to give up one thing and didn't give up one thing.
Chris Wendt January 03, 2013 at 12:51 PM
John Boehner and Peter King are our Republican Party. There is no quid-pro-quo between Sandy relief and the fiscal situation. It was Boehner, himself, who punted the fiscal mess to the Senate with his personal pledge to support whatever emerged as the result, in the House. You assertion that Boehner was "busy with" anything concerning either the fiscal deadline or Sandy relief funding is inaccurate at least to some degree. Presumably you saw a chastened Pete King eating crow this morning on national TV after his "time-out" with Boehner yesterday. The lack of true Republican leadership in the House which they supposedly ""control"" is nauseating. As a result of the failure of any real House Republican ""leadership"", the national media are proclaiming this entire fiscal affair to be a "huge victory" for President Obama. Boehner appears severely beaten. I don't want that guy in the driver's seat, behind the wheel of our Congress, and neither should you. I suggest Boehner, Cantor, and McCarthy take the afternoon off, and listen to Kenny Rogers "The Gambler" several times, until the quintessential message sinks in: "You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away and know when to run." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj4nJ1YEAp4
Joemodeler January 03, 2013 at 01:24 PM
First the blame should be placed at the feet of the politicians who placed pork in the bill that has nothing to do with Sandy Relief. Further, Boehner stated that the bill would be voted on this MONTH. He never stated yesterday or the day before. Also all needs of the individuals who need assistance are obtaining it now. King and all of the other Long Island Republicans are just RINOs. The fools are the people on Long Island who continue to believe in these so called Republican "Conservatives." New York and LI are slowly dying and pols from BOTH parties could careless as long as they stay in power. Wake up. It is not the rich who are making you poor but the pols from BOTH parties. More taxes less money for you. The rich take their money and allocate (send or invest) more efficiently then pols. Pols waste it to buy them votes and control you. They do not care about accountability. WAKE UP.
Artie Barnett January 03, 2013 at 02:46 PM
In about 2 hours the 113th congress will convene and begin by choosing a speaker. If King and Grimm vote for Boehner, how do you plan to hold them accountable?
Chris Wendt January 03, 2013 at 03:26 PM
@ Joemodeler re: "King and all of the other Long Island Republicans are just RINOs." RINO stands for Republican in name only. The problem I have with your accusation is that, at this precise moment, it is not possible to definitively say who or what is a "Republican". I think that I am one, but I would not want to be associated in any way, shape or form with the ""leadership"" of John Boehner or the behavior of the Tea Party. Conversely, if you think Pete King is a RINO, then I would submit that you are no true Republican, meaning of the same cloth as Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower, or Abraham Lincoln. So RINO is a very apt word for the situation with our party. Who are true Republicans and who are the imposters, the posers, the neo-cons, and the right-wing reactionaries (all different stripes of "Republican"). Right now, I think being registered Republican doesn't cut it, any more than it does any good for an elected office holder to have an "(R)" printed next to his/her name in the paper or an online article. We are all RINO's to each other.
SLJ January 03, 2013 at 03:31 PM
IF the bill was for aid to those affected by Sandy and only those affected, this would have passed. The Senate chose to add $$$ for GITMO, Alaska and other pet projects. The House plans to strip those out and then vote on it and send back to the Senate. Let's see what Sen. Schumer and Gillibrand then have to say. They both knew what was in it when it was sent to the House, and both were as quiet as Church mice. Let's hold everyone accountable here.
Artie Barnett January 03, 2013 at 04:02 PM
"The House plans to strip those out" This quote is future tense, the fact is, the house bill had already removed all earmarks. This is no argument for Boehner's refusal to allow a vote, the bill was clean, the Speaker was dirty.
SLJ January 03, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Artie--NOT as of 3pm yesterday: The pork-barrel feast includes more than $8 million to buy cars and equipment for the Homeland Security and Justice departments. It also includes a whopping $150 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to dole out to fisheries in Alaska and $2 million for the Smithsonian Institution to repair museum roofs in DC. An eye-popping $13 billion would go to “mitigation” projects to prepare for future storms. Other big-ticket items in the bill include $207 million for the VA Manhattan Medical Center; $41 million to fix up eight military bases along the storm’s path, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; $4 million for repairs at Kennedy Space Center in Florida; $3.3 million for the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and $1.1 million to repair national cemeteries. Budget watchdogs have dubbed the 94-page emergency-spending bill “Sandy Scam.” More: $58.8 million for forest restoration on private land. $197 million “to… protect coastal ecosystems and habitat impacted by Hurricane Sandy.” $10.78 billion for public transportation, most of which is allocated to future construction and improvements, not disaster relief. $17 billion for wasteful Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), a program that has become notorious for its use as a backdoor earmark program. Where did you see that it was?
SLJ January 03, 2013 at 04:10 PM
I forgot to add the link: http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2013/01/02/the-pork-filled-and-expensive-nonrelief-sandy-relief-bill-n1477710
Tony January 03, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Finally, someone who is really paying attention. Thank you Joemodeler. I was getting more and more frustrated with the first handful of comments as people were leaving out the FACT that the bill wasn't brought to a vote because of all the added pork. Where's the outcry from NY dems on that? A bill designed to help storm victims loaded with pet projects is despicable and hooray for those in leadership, though I'm not fans of theirs and wish they'd get a real conservative as speaker. As for the Tea Party, well they may have been putting some flakes up as candidates but its still refreshing to see regular ordinary people running for, and in some cases being elected to, office. The problems we face today are precisely because of all the professional politicans and their feeling that they're better than the rest of us. Seems like too many Americans have forgotten what our ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES are supposed to do--represent us, their constituents and their employers, not their own wallets and self interest. That's what you get when a House member makes $175k. They're not supposed to be making that kind of money and the Founders thought it dangerous. Looks like they were right once again.
Tony January 03, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Chris, exactly what 'behavior' are you talking about in reference to the Tea Party? Do you mean their fiscal conservatism? Their refusal to be paid off for compromising their ideals? You didn't mention the behavior of the Democrats, like Harry Reid calling Boehner a dictator while he does the some things in the Senate and worse.
Artie Barnett January 03, 2013 at 04:38 PM
SLJ Your list of items is impressive, even though it was cut and pasted from the Dec. 15, 2012 NY Post http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/little_help_here_1kW6aQ8fElj4CKwbheEV0N
Tony January 03, 2013 at 04:39 PM
SLJ, thanks for posting the numbers. I had them but couldn't find it when I wanted. Hopefully, some of these people will finally understand exactly how much money some of these politicians are pissing away.
SLJ January 03, 2013 at 04:50 PM
Artie--actually it came from an artilce posted yesterday at 3pm as I provided the link listed above. So where did you see that the House bill was stripped clean?
Vincent January 03, 2013 at 05:06 PM
Artie Barnett: The Speaker is dirty and so are all the Dems that put the pork items in the Bill.
Artie Barnett January 03, 2013 at 05:26 PM
If it came from an article yesterday, the author copied it from the 12/15/2012 article which you can see reads verbatim to your post. So again, your numbers are outdated.
VL January 03, 2013 at 05:30 PM
sigh* just read the entirety of the bill...first. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1eas/pdf/BILLS-112hr1eas.pdf
Artie Barnett January 03, 2013 at 06:04 PM
1/2/13 12:30 KING: They're(GOP) going to have to go a long way to get my vote on anything. 1/3/13 12:58 House vote for speaker: KING: "Boehner" That didn't seem like a long way Pete.
SLJ January 03, 2013 at 06:05 PM
Artie--you still have NOT posted where you said the bill was stripped clean. Either it was or it wasn't. Which one is it?? You continue to blame Boehner and the GOP, and they do deserve some blame. Blame also has to go to the Senate who chose to weigh the bill down with unnecessary pork. I have yet to hear you complain about them. Is there a reason why?
Artie Barnett January 03, 2013 at 06:18 PM
I agree 100%, the Senate piled on the pork and should be slapped for it. But the question was not about the Senate it was about the pulling of the House bill by the speaker who has promised to put it to a vote in the same form it was yesterday. Since he will allow it unchanged, he pulled the vote as a stunt. Below is the bill as it was written on Tuesday morning. Please point out the "Non-Sandy" related pork. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1eas/pdf/BILLS-112hr1eas.pdf
Artie Barnett January 03, 2013 at 06:57 PM
King and Grimm claim bill is pork free: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/275351-new-york-republicans-take-on-issa-over-sandy-relief-bill
BSM January 03, 2013 at 07:16 PM
And while the people of the East coast still have no answers, Boehner allowed Michelle Bachmann to introduce the 1st bill of 2013 - the 34th bill to repeal the healthcare bill ( because the other 33 were so successful). And we are paying these bad excuses for human beings to waste time and money. It is disgusting!
SLJ January 03, 2013 at 07:20 PM
Artie--here's some of it: For an additional amount for ‘‘Operation and Mainte7 nance’’, $821,000,000, to remain available until expended 8 to dredge Federal navigation channels and repair damage 9 to Corps projects nationwide related to natural disasters: Well here's some of it...I really don't feel like reviewing all 100 pages, but maybe I shall. Enclosing 821 Million for future problems not related to Sandy seems to be pork to me.
SLJ January 03, 2013 at 07:43 PM
PROCUREMENT 17 PROCUREMENT OF AMMUNITION, ARMY 18 For an additional amount for ‘‘Procurement of Am19 munition, Army’’, $1,310,000, to remain available until 20 September 30, 2015, for necessary expenses related to the 21 consequences of Hurricane Sandy: We needed to budget over a million dollars of AMMUNITION for Hurricane Sandy??? And why might that be?
Chris Wendt January 03, 2013 at 08:04 PM
@ Tony re: "...what 'behavior' are you talking about in reference to the Tea Party? Do you mean their fiscal conservatism? Their refusal to be paid off for compromising their ideals?" I see no such thing as true "conservatism" on the part of the Tea Party. Financial calcification, okay. But rigid obstinance, failure to recognize one's duty to govern, failure to compromise under any condition and regardless of the consequences...those are certainly not conservative governmental behaviors. Those are immature, intemperate, unrealistic behaviors bordering on economic fascism.
Vincent January 04, 2013 at 01:25 PM
Artie Barnett and SLJ: The pork is in the 'fiscal cliff' vote also. Seattle Times, Friday. Tucked into the "fiscal cliff" tax package approved by Congress are billions of dollars in tax breaks that should make the new year a lot happier for businesses of many stripes, including film producers, race track owners and the makers of electric motorcycles. In all, more than 50 temporary tax breaks were renewed through 2013, saving businesses and individuals about $76 billion. Congress routinely renews the tax package, attracting intense lobbying - and campaign donations - from businesses and trade groups that say the tax breaks help them prosper and create jobs.
Patrick Smith January 07, 2013 at 09:55 PM
whats our choices to vote for , coke pepsi ,mc donald burger king , 7 / 11 dun con donuts all the same ,i,m a political atheist

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