House Speaker John Boehner had promised that in the waning hours of the 112th Congress, the House would be allowed to vote on a $60 billion relief package for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut areas ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. The bill had already passed the Senate.
But no such vote was held, probably because Boehner lacked the stomach to ask his caucus to support such a bill right after forcing through the much-despised fiscal-cliff legislation. The decision means that an infusion of federal aid will be delayed for another month if not longer, a fact that has Northeast congressmen and governors, including Republicans, spitting mad.
For those unable to view video, here’s a few excerpts from the diatribe delivered on Fox News by U.S. Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican:
“I thought it was absolutely indefensible, it’s inexcusable. … Every penny that was asked for was documented, every document they requested, we gave them. We were told that everything was fine.”
“I’m not taking this as a personal offense. I’m talking about the thousands of people in my district, the hundreds of thousands of people throughout the New York-New Jersey area. Within 10 days after (Hurricane) Katrina, $60 billion was appropriated. Nine weeks after Sandy, not one penny has been appropriated. These Republicans have no trouble finding New York when they’re out raising millions of dollars. They’re in New York all the time filing their pockets from New Yorkers. I’m saying right now, anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to congressional Republicans is out of their minds. Because what they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans. It was an absolute disgrace.”
“Why the Republican Party has this bias against New York, this bias against New Jersey, this bias against the Northeast. They wonder why they’re becoming a minority party, why we’re going to be a party of the permanent minority? What they did last night was so immoral, so disgraceful, so irresponsible. They’re supposed to be the party of family values, and yet families that are starving, families that are suffering, families that are spread all over and living in substandard housing. This was a disgrace, they are inexcusable. As far as I’m concerned, I’m on my own. They’re going to have to go a long way to get my vote on anything….”
“Gov. Christie, he’s the one, the Republicans put him out front. ‘He’s our man, he’s our blue-collar candidate, he’s the guy who represents the heart and soul of the Republican Party.’ He went everywhere for Republicans all over they country. And what did they do? They knifed him in the back.”
– Jay Bookman