Capping one of the least productive Congressional sessions in history, the United States House of Representatives recessed on Wednesday without acting on emergency aid for the victims of Superstorm Sandy. The move — or non-move — spawned its own super-storm of criticism and insults for the departing Congress. USA Today has the story ("Anger erupts after House scraps vote on Sandy aid," by Catalina Camia and Jackie Kucinich).
Representative Peter King (R-NY) addresses the House as Congress adjourns without passing a bill for aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy. "We did everything Republican leadership asked regarding Sandy aid," King tweeted on Twitter: "Pork in Senate bill was taken out in House version."
New York Republican Congressman Peter King blasted his own party’s leadership in an interview with CNN, saying, "Turning your back on people who are starving and freezing is not a Republican value." King represents New York’s third Congressional district, a Long Island district hard-hit by Sandy, including the barrier island community of Long Beach.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in a joint statement, said, "This failure to come to the aid of Americans following a severe and devastating natural disaster is unprecedented. The fact that days continue to go by while people suffer, families are out of their homes, and men and women remain jobless and struggling during these harsh winter months is a dereliction of duty. When American citizens are in need we come to their aid. That tradition was abandoned in the House last night."
Posting on Twitter, Christie termed the House’s inaction "inexcusable" and "a dereliction of duty." Representative Michael Grimm, a New York Republican, called the decision "a personal betrayal," reports the Washington Post ("GOP Rep: A ‘knife in the back’ on Sandy aid," by Rachel Weisner).
Speaker of the House John Boehner said that the House will take up the aid bill in the next Congressional session, after the newly elected 113th Congress convenes. That session’s first scheduled event is Friday, January 4th, when the House and Senate meet in joint session to count the electoral votes in the 2012 Presidential election.