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Connecticut Politics

Outrage over House GOP walking away from Sandy relief

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Wave after wave of outrage rolled through the House of Representatives, first Tuesday night then Wednesday morning, like the waves crashing against the ruined beaches of Long Island Sound.

The House GOP leadership’s decision not to bring the Senate-passed Sandy supplemental relief aid bill to the floor Tuesday night stunned and angered Northeast legislators on both sides of the aisle. One after the other, they stepped up to podium to fulminate against Speaker John Boehner’s decision.

Some of the loudest protests came from Republicans.

Peter King, the powerful 10-term Congressman from New York, said the conduct of his party’s leadership was “disgraceful, immoral.”

“I was chasing the Speaker all over the House floor (Tuesday night) … He just decided to sneak off in the dead of night,” he raged Wednesday morning.

“”These Republicans have no problem finding New York when they’re out raising millions of dollars. They’re in New York filling their pockets with money from New Yorkers. I’m saying anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to Congressional Republicans is out of their mind. Because what they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans. It is an absolute disgrace.”

Inexplicably, the House had time to listen to speaker after speaker decrying the decision not to bring the bill to the floor, but no time to take up the bill.

Boehner would only say through an aide, “The speaker is committed to getting this bill passed this month.”

Government sources said starting over on the bill in the 113th Congress Thursday could delay aid to the region for weeks.

A sample of comments on the floor Wednesday:

Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.: “A shocking display of neglect.”

Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.: “An act of spiteful indifference that will go down in history as a low point. Shame on this House,”

Frank LaBiondo, R-New Jersey: This is a disaster on top of a disaster. … we demand nothing less than we have given the rest of the country.”

Gregory Meeks-D-N.Y.: “Walk with me, Mr. Speaker. See the American people who are suffering. We make jokes about the Senate. Well, the Senate stood up and passed the bill.”

Bill Pascrell, D-N.J.: “We need to take the gloves off, Jersey-style.”

The protests on the floor of the House continued unabated through the morning Wednesday.

Categories: General
David McCumber, Washington Bureau Chief

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