Enter your email address and start getting breaking law firm and legal news right now!
Republicans in House Fail to Vote on Sandy Aid Bill
The House of Representatives has messed up once again on legislation just hours after almost making a mistake on the fiscal cliff deal on Monday.
We have embedded a video of Representative Steve Womack, the presiding officer in the House of Representatives, in this post. The video shows Womack adjourning the House as he acts like he does not hear loud objections by members of the House who were mad that Republicans broke their promise to vote on an emergency supplemental disaster aid bill for relief after Hurricane Sandy.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor provided the House with the go-ahead for floor debate on the bill, which would be worth $27 billion plus a $33 billion amendment. This matches the amount of money passed by the Senate last week. Cantor provided the floor debate in an effort to pass the legislation as quickly as possible and grab the aid prior to a new Congress being sworn into office on Thursday.
Since the vote did not occur, the new Congress will need to draft a new bill that will have to pass in the Senate and the House. The bill that was not voted on cannot be voted on by a new Congress.
House Speaker John Boehner said that he will propose the bill once more in the new Congress before January comes to an end. The downside is that this means the weeks of negotiating and passing it in the Senate was worth noting.
By the week of January 7, it is estimated that the flood insurance fund will have run through its borrowing authority. The White House has asked for an increase of $9.7 billion in the Senate bill. The government thinks that some 139,000 claims will arise from damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Out of the existing funds, just 12,000 of these claims can be covered.
Michael Grimm, a representative of the Staten Island District, called the failure to vote “a betrayal.” Staten Island was one of the areas hit the hardest by the storm. Republicans in both New Jersey and New York are furious with the lack of action.
Peter King, the representative for part of Long Island, told CNN that he has not ruled out switching parties due to the broken promise. “Everybody played by the rules, except tonight when the rope is pulled out from under us,” King said last night.
When he was on CNN, King said the following, “what they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans. Absolutely inexcusable, absolutely indefensible. We have a moral obligation to hold this vote.”