Category: US Politics / January 3, 2013 9:30 AM EST
House Speaker John Boehner abruptly reversed course on Wednesday (January 2) and set a timetable to approve $60 billion in Superstorm Sandy relief, after fellow Republicans, including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, criticized his cancellation of an earlier vote.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives will now vote on Friday on a $9 billion down payment for storm-related support to the National Flood Insurance Program.
Boehner also assured New York and New Jersey lawmakers that the House will take a second vote on January 15 on the $51 billion remainder of the Sandy disaster aid package approved last week in the U.S. Senate.
"There's only 1 group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims. The House majority and their Speaker, John Boehner."
President Barack Obama also made a last-minute overture to Republicans to pass the plan and spoke to both Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo by telephone.
Sandy, the second-costliest storm in U.S. history, devastated the northeastern United States on October 29, smashing New York and New Jersey coastal communities.