New York pols slam House for failure to vote on Sandy relief bill

January 02, 2013 01:00PM

New York politicians on both sides of the aisle are slamming House Republicans for failing to vote on an emergency supplemental aid bill for victims of Hurricane Sandy, CNN reported. The bill would have given billions of dollars in aid to victims of the so-called “super-storm.” The package is valued at $60.4 billion.

Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, shared the strongest words against his own party. “Anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee should have their head examined,” he told CNN. King even added that the House’s decision not to vote on the bill is a “knife in the back.”

However, House Speaker John Boehner plans to make the bill a top priority in the new Congress, which begins tomorrow, according to an unnamed GOP senior leadership aide. A Boehner spokesperson told CNN that the speaker also plans to pass the bill this month.

Still, dropping the bill isn’t sitting well with other area politicians. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has estimated storm-related damage to total $41.9 billion and in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie has put a $36.8 billion cost on his state’s damage.

Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat said in a statement: “I cannot believe Republican Leadership has forgotten the main purpose of public service — to protect and help the American people.” Rep. Nita Lowey, another New York Democrat, characterized the move as “irresponsible and inexcusable.”

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York has called on the House leaders to vote on the bill before Congress’ current term ends tomorrow at noon. [CNN] —Zachary Kussin