Sandy Relief Legislation Postponed
Written By: Joe Melillo
Governors and members of Congress from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are dumbfounded after house speaker John Boehner stopped a vote last night that would have provided much needed aid for relief from Superstorm Sandy.
Twin Tiers (WENY) - Governors and members of Congress from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are dumbfounded after house speaker John Boehner stopped a vote last night that would have provided much needed aid for relief from Superstorm Sandy. It's been more than 2 months since Superstorm Sandy hit the East coast, leaving millions suffering. A package passed by the U-S Senate last week would have brought more than 60 billion dollars of relief funds to the area, but the House never got a chance to vote. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was furious at the lack of action, but House speaker John Boehner has promised to get a new relief package assed as soon as next week.
“66 days and counting,” says Christie. “Shame on you, shame on congress.”
People in the tri-state area are still suffering after Superstorm Sandy, and leaders are furious at the lack of hustle from congress. On Tuesday the house had the opportunity to pass a senate bill that would provide $60 billion of relief money. Democratic Representative from Illinois Dick Durbin spoke to the house about how important the money is.
“I urgently beg the Speaker of the House or Representatives to put any political concerns aside and for the sake of these victims and victims of other distress across America, pass this critically important bill as quickly as possible,” says Durbin.
Democrats and Republicans were ready to move forward, but House Speaker John Boehner didn't call for the vote Tuesday night, and thus killing the bill. The non-vote means no action can be taken until after the new Congress is sworn in. Then a new bill needs to be created then passed by both the House and Senate.
“Governor Cuomo and I are not wallflowers. We are not shrinking violets and have resources at our disposal too and we are going to continue to work together and fight together to make sure this happens,” stated Christie.
After tlks on Wednesday, money may be on the way. A vote on $9 billion on immediate aid is set for Friday, with another vote for an extra $51 billion could be as soon as January 15. That makes House representatives like Peter King from New York.
“The bottom line is that between Friday morning and January 15th, those two votes will bring in $60 billion dollars that's absolutely necessary for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. So, as far as I'm concerned, I think I can speak for all the members of New York and New Jersey delegations, it was an extremely positive meeting,” Says King.
In a statement, Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor said "critical aid" to storm victims should be the first priority of the new Congress, which convenes Thursday.