Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Lack of Vote on Sandy Aid Angers N.J. Lawmakers

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Lack of Vote on Sandy Aid Angers N.J. Lawmakers

Article excerpt

Republicans and Democrats from New Jersey and New York railed against House Speaker John Boehner late Tuesday for not bringing a bill for superstorm Sandy relief funding to the floor.

Members said they felt betrayed because they believed the vote would come after the House approved a measure to prevent fiscal cliff tax increases and spending cuts, which happened around 11 p.m.

"I urge the speaker to reconsider this unconscionable, inexplicable refusal to let us vote," said Rep. Steve Rothman, D- Englewood. "What is going on in his caucus, or in his mind?"

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said he felt that the delegations and the governors had negotiated in good faith and Boehner "pulled the rug out from under us."

Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the minority whip, said shortly after 11:30 that he had been "informed that we would be having perhaps no further votes in this Congress."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she did not know if a final decision had been made, and she hoped the bill would be put on the agenda for today. The House session ends at noon Thursday.

Votes had been expected Tuesday, but were delayed after Republican House members objected to the fiscal cliff deal, which later got overwhelming bipartisan support.

Earlier in the afternoon, Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said the delay was providing more time for him and his colleagues from New Jersey and New York to lobby members from other states to support the full disaster aid package.

Asked if he supported the bill as he got on an elevator after the evening caucus, Rep. Scott Garrett, R-Wantage, said he was "still looking at it."

CNN.com reported late Tuesday that Rep. Bill Pascrell, D- Paterson, spoke on the floor of the House and criticized the chamber for not voting on the storm aid package.

"If you want to get into nickels and dimes, then let's get into nickels and dimes," he was quoted as saying. "We've done our share and we'll continue to do it. We want everyone to step up to the plate. …

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