A side of pork with fiscal deal

Updated
SideOfPork
SideOfPork

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle Wednesday lambasted House Speaker John Boehner for refusing to hold a vote on emergency funding for victims of superstorm Sandy.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., called it a “cruel knife in the back”; Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said it was a “betrayal of the people;” and Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., said none of his four phone calls to Speaker Boehner have been returned. Boehner’s office responded, saying the speaker is “committed to getting this bill passed this month.”

One third of residents in New York’s Rockaways are without heat, and 37% still have toxic mold growing in their walls. In New Jersey, 26,530 households may still need shelter assistance.

But as relief is delayed or denied for Sandy victims, lawmakers were able to pack millions of dollars of pork into the fiscal cliff deal, which could leave a bad taste in the mouths of Northeast residents. The fiscal cliff deal includes $430M for Hollywood filmmakers to encourage production in America, $222M in tax breaks for rum imported from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and $70M to repair NASCAR tracks.

While these pet projects made it through under the radar last night, lawmakers watched moments later in disbelief as Speaker Boehner rejected a vote on Sandy relief last night. That decision, one day before the vote to renew his speakership, has done something rare on Capitol Hill: unite bipartisan support against him.

A side of pork with fiscal deal

Updated