Category: US Politics / January 4, 2013 3:14 PM EST
The House of Representatives approved $9.7 billion in initial federal funds for victims of Superstorm Sandy on Friday (January 04), with New York and New Jersey lawmakers still seething over delays in voting on the rest of a $60 billion aid package.
"While it is never too late to do the right thing, it is late that we are doing this thing, and we are doing the bare minimum," argued Democrat House Member from the State of Maryland Steny Hoyer.
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner drew scathing criticism earlier this week from fellow Republicans when he cancelled a House vote on the full $60.4 billion aid package passed by the Senate.
Many House Republicans had complained that the Sandy aid bill was loaded with spending on projects unrelated to storm damage or long-term projects that needed more scrutiny.
"We do need to pre-negotiate with the Senate. We need to get the pork out. Now none of that pork we are talking about is in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut, in fact it is as far away as Alaska. The bill that we will not vote on today (member interrupted) - I'm speaking. - The pork that we will not vote on today is in fact the pork that it was in this bill from the Senate, and my hope is that we will see in January 15 the negotiated 'clean' bill that only deals with the men and women and families o n the Eastern Sea Board that need to be taken care of," demanded Republican from California Darrell Issa.
The 354-67 vote will keep the National Flood Insurance Program solvent and able to continue paying claims of thousands of homeowners who suffered damage in coastal New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.