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.
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.
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.