Following a hailstorm of criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike, the House of Representatives will vote on an aid package Friday for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, according to CNN. Immediate assistance for flood insurance worth $9 billion will be considered Friday along with another $51 billion bill for aid on January 15.
“We’re getting what New York and New Jersey need, and that’s all that counts,” Rep. Peter King, R-New York said. “We’re all big boys. We understand that all that counts is the bottom line.”
House leaders met with angered representatives on Wednesday from New Jersey and New York who felt ignored by the lack of a vote for an aid package. The Senate originally approved the large Sandy aid bill and should approve the scaled-down version on Friday, according to an aid for the Democratic leaders.
“On the second tranche, we will need to see more details before we decide how to proceed,” the aide said. “As the Senate has shown by passing our bipartisan bill, we consider getting aid to the victims of Sandy a superlative priority, but we need to know more about the contents of the bill before deciding on a path forward.”
The speaker of the New York City Council, Christine Quinn, said, “It’s really unbelievable how Speaker Boehner and his party could just walk away. To promise us a vote weeks from now? Why should we believe him at all? It’s just shocking.”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said that it was “disappointing and disgusting to watch” as he blamed “the toxic internal politics of the House majority. New Jersey deserves better than the duplicity we saw on display. Shame on Congress.”
A combined statement from Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the following:
“This failure to come to the aid of Americans following a severe and devastating natural disaster is unprecedented. The fact that days continue to go by while people suffer, families are out of their homes, and men and women remain jobless and struggling during these harsh winter months is a dereliction of duty.”
Calm eventually set back in for most politicians who were angered at first.
“As far as I’m concerned, that was a lifetime ago,” King said. “The bottom line is we’re going forward getting what we believe is necessary.” In prior comments, King brutally criticized his own party, saying, “The Republican Party has said it’s the party of ‘family values.’ Last night, it turned its back on the most essential value of all, and that’s to provide food, shelter, clothing and relief for people who have been hit by a natural disaster.”