After coming under fire from Republicans and Democrats alike over putting desperately needed disaster relief bill on the back burner, House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday that he’d hold a vote later this week to provide aid to northeastern regions devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
Congress will be able to weigh in on Friday on a $9 billion supplemental for flood insurance, followed by another vote on a $51 billion package on Jan. 15.
Boehner had cancelled the vote on Tuesday after the House passed a budget deal to avoid the looming fiscal cliff.
Outspoken Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called Boehner’s move “disgusting,” while Republican Rep. Peter King said it was a “cruel knife in the back.” Democratic New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler called it the “most disgraceful action I’ve seen in this House in the 20 years I’ve been here.”
Republican Rep. Jon Runyan of New Jersey met with Boehner on Wednesday, telling Hardball that Boehner admitted he was to blame.
Boehner, according to Runyan, said “I know there’s been a lot of frustration, a lot of anger that’s been directed at me. And he goes ‘I own it. I deserve it.’”
Runyan added that the Sandy aid “is going to happen, why are we delaying it? Let’s get it done.”
New York Rep. Joe Crowley told Hardball guest host Michael Smerconish that he understands that Boehner has been under intense scrutiny from his party in light of the fiscal cliff vote, which raised taxes on the wealthiest Americans, and that it “wasn’t fun.”
“But neither is not having power in your house,” Crowley added.