After days of anger directed at House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH), the House of Representatives on Friday passed a bill that puts a small down payment on Hurricane Sandy relief efforts — over the objections of 67 Republican lawmakers.
The $9.7 billion package passed Friday is intended to pay for flood insurance claims, but little else. Funding requests from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey alone add up to more than $83 billion.
The bill passed by a vote of 354 to 67, with the only opposition coming from members of the Republican Party. The Senate has already approved a much larger $60 billion relief package.
A second relief bill for an additional $51 billion is set for a vote later this month, but it is not clear if the speaker will be able to corral enough Republicans into supporting it.
An earlier vote on the full $60 billion relief package was cancelled this week amid talks on tax rates, triggering fury from east coast Republicans.
“It has now been 66 days since Hurricane Sandy hit and 27 days since President Obama put forth a responsible aid proposal that passed with a bipartisan vote in the Senate while the House has failed to even bring it to the floor,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said on Wednesday. “This failure to come to the aid of Americans following a severe and devastating natural disaster is unprecedented.”
Photo: Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com.