House to Vote on Sandy Aid After All

Boehner schedules votes after intense criticism
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2013 3:51 PM CST
House to Vote on Sandy Aid After All
Speaker of the House John Boehner walks to a closed-door meeting with GOP members of the House on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Looks like the public scolding worked: John Boehner has scheduled two votes to provide aid for victims of superstorm Sandy, reports the AP. The House speaker came under withering criticism from New York and New Jersey lawmakers—notably Peter King and Chris Christie—when he abruptly called off a vote on the aid after the fiscal cliff deal. After meeting with his critics this afternoon, Boehner agreed to hold votes on two separate measure to provide about $60 billion in relief. The first is Friday, the second on Jan. 15.

All seems forgiven. “As far as I’m concerned that was a lifetime ago,” a previously livid King told reporters after the meeting with Boehner. “The bottom line is we are getting the result that we need.” It's still not clear why the speaker called off the original vote. The Hill floats two theories in circulation: It was to punish Eric Cantor, who had been shepherding the Sandy legislation, for voting against the fiscal cliff deal; or because House Republicans were in no mood to approve a relief package after relenting on tax cuts and spending in the cliff deal. "Getting critical aid to the victims of Hurricane Sandy should be the first priority in the new Congress, and that was reaffirmed today with members of the New York and New Jersey delegations," Boehner said in a joint statement with Cantor. (Read more Hurricane Sandy stories.)

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